July 04, 2007

Hamas' Hidden Economy

From Hamas' Hidden Economy:

Military insurrections cost money. To take over Gaza last month, Hamas had to pay salaries, procure weapons, manufacture rockets, buy help from local crime families, bribe opponents, print leaflets and banners, produce media propaganda and even order up Hamas hats and bandanas. How did Hamas fund the Gaza coup?

In the face of international sanctions, Hamas has successfully transferred funds into the West Bank and Gaza through its charity committees and social service organizations. Mixing funds across its political, charitable and militant wings, Hamas supports its Executive Force militia and Izzidin al-Qassam Brigade terror cells under a veil of political and humanitarian legitimacy.

The U.S. and EU should expand their designation of terrorist entities to include the long list of Hamas-controlled entities in the West Bank and Gaza that receive foreign charity. Designating charity committees tied to Hamas would prompt international banks to block such transactions.

As long as its political and social wings are allowed to operate unhindered, Hamas will be able to fully fund all of its activities, including its terrorist attacks against Israelis and Palestinians alike.