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Monday, August 29, 2011

Hamas' cash problems continue

Ma'an Arabic has an article about how the Eid ul-Fitr holiday is not looking too happy for many Gazans, who are in much worse financial shape than they were for last year's Eid.

The reason? Hamas has not paid full salaries since July. And Gazans are worried that the money crunch will continue into the winter months.

There have been multiple reports that Hamas' financial crisis is a result of Iran's withholding cash from the group, because of Tehran's displeasure over Hamas not actively supporting the Syrian regime in murdering thousands. Iran is assumed to give Hamas the bulk of its $540 million budget.

While the media is reporting that the reason for the cutoff is Hamas' actions vis a vis Syria, but it is possible that Western economic sanctions against Iran have played a role as well. .

Any money Syria has been giving Hamas can also be assumed to have dried up, and it is entirely possible that Hamas' support for a truce with Israel even after its own members were targeted is due to their worries about the cost of another war:
Hamas chiefs did not plan or want this confrontation; not now. They were concerned about being blamed that they are pulling the rug from under Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the September independence bid. Moreover, the economic situation in Gaza is worsening. The government is having trouble paying salaries, with the amount of money pouring into the Strip at this time being a fraction of past fund transfers.

There is an important lesson here: terrorists cannot work without money, and their actions can be dictated more by monetary considerations than ideological ones.

The EU sanctions against purchasing Syrian oil are belated but welcome. And economic sanctions against Iran must be more drastic yet. Autocratic, terror supporting regimes are more concerned with staying in power than outsourcing terror.

Imagine the positive effect on Lebanon if Hezbollah loses all its Iranian cash as well! That can only happen if the cash to Iran is stopped, and that includes purchasing Iranian oil.

Money really does make the world go 'round, and the West is only slowly waking up to that.