Hamas is one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in the world, with an annual turnover estimated at $700 million, flowing in from taxes, financial aid, and donations from regional powers.
Following Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel on October 7, countries and organizations that support the Palestinian Islamist movement are under scrutiny.
Economic, military, and ideological support for Hamas comes from regional powers Qatar, Iran, and Turkey. Qatar’s financial support of more than $350 million supports infrastructure and families in extreme poverty in the Gaza Strip, which has a 45.3% jobless rate.
“These payments are justified to pay civil servants in Gaza, and we know perfectly well that the latter are members of Hamas,” Didier Billion, deputy director of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), told France 24.
Qatar’s links with Hamas are not only financial but also political. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has resided mainly in Doha since 2012.
Iran also maintains close ties with Hamas. Tehran more generally finances all Palestinian armed groups to $100 million per year, according to a report by the U.S. State Department published in 2020.
Turkey provides political support rather than financial or military aid.
Following days of contradictory messaging, the European Union reversed a decision by Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi to block €691 million in development aid to the Palestinians. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced increased humanitarian aid to Gaza to €75m.