On June 2, 2021, the Israeli Channel 13 aired a segment entitled Parties, lavish houses, and fancy cars: lifestyles of the children of Hamas leaders, in which the following claims were presented:

"Dollars" in this context presumably means USD.

Are these numbers accurate?

  • 2
    Can you please confirm the claim is about USD, not ILD or JOD?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 5:10
  • 10
    @Oddthinking The news presenter uses "dollars" exclusively, thus not Israeli Shekels (NIS) or Jordanian Dinar (JOD). While there are more than 20 currencies with the name "dollar", I think USD is a reasonable assumption.
    – Zev Spitz
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 5:18
  • 2
    Please note that we are not interested in your political opinions or promoting political propaganda. Comments should be limited to improving the questions or answers.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 19:40
  • 1
    I cannot check this on the list of the 250 richest people in the world ... it only goes down as far as 7.7 billion dollars. therichest.com/top-lists/top-250-richest-people-in-the-world
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 20:23
  • @GEdgar They're not to be found on the Forbes billionaire list. But the Methodology section lists some reasons why they aren't, particularly: "When documentation isn’t supplied or available, we discount fortunes.".
    – Zev Spitz
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 5:16

2 Answers 2


As far as I can tell the only source named making claims such as these is Moshe Elad, who is identified only as a "lecturer at Western Galilee College and at Galil International Management School". I believe he is the same Moshe Elad who co-authored a "hasbara manual" in 2010. Hasbara is Israeli government public relations, so this indicates to me that Elad sees his own expertise as related to national PR.

In 2014, Elad made this claim in Tablet magazine, citing "my research," and for the New York Jewish newspaper Algemeiner, citing unnamed "Arab commentators" and "global estimates."

Here is a list of claims made by Elad and by Channel 13, respectively.

Hamas leader Algemeiner, 2014 Channel 13, 2021
Mousa Abu Marzook $2-3 billion $3 billion
Ismail Haniyeh $4 million $3-4 billion
Khaled Mashal $2.6 billion* $5 billion

* As noted in the other answer, Mashal was the treasurer of Hamas in 2014, and $2.6 billion was reported as the total assets of Hamas itself at that time, which makes this figure in particular seem dubious as Mashal's personal wealth.

It should definitely be noted that Elad made these claims in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war in which Israel killed over 2,000 Gaza civilians, and the Channel 13 claim came out directly after the 2021 Gaza war which involved killing of civilians in Gaza and pogroms against Arabs within Israeli territory.

Edit: In response to comments: the goal of this answer is to clarify who is making these claims and where the claims have arisen. I did not find other sources for the net worth of Hamas leaders, and I welcome such discoveries, but I believe this supplemental information by itself can help people draw a conclusion.

  • 34
    @ZevSpitz Being a billionaire in general requires some good source of either wealth or income. The channel 13 numbers for these 3 people add up to somewhere close to the annual GDP of Palestine. They can probably funnel off some aid money or some percentage of some random economic activity in Palestine into their private pockets and I will gladly believe they are millionaires but to accumulate personal fortunes in the billions seems way to much for the size and economic heft of Palestine. So these numbers are not realistic unless you can provide a source where the money comes from.
    – quarague
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 10:16
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    It would be useful to explain the significance of the "hasbara manual" - I'd never heard of the term before, and am still hazy on its significance in establishing anything about the source.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 10:40
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    This almost feels like supporting material for the claim in the question, rather than a strong source for an answer. Hopefully more corroborating evidence can be found? Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 10:43
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    Indeed, this is too vague. The implicit claim is obviously that 'this Gaza leadership is guilty, also, of corruption and large scale embezzlement' (or where else/how is the money coming from?). The A now seconds that 'Israeli PR certainly says so, especially when spin is needed for a Chewbacca defense'? Feels for me as if you answer 'what's the source of this' — 'the unreliable narrator of the opposing side'? Please make at least more clear what you really mean with or what should follow from "should be noted…'. Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 14:16
  • 12
    The way I read this is "the claim comes from a guy who won't reveal his sources and who works in public relations for a country opposed to Hamas". In other words "we're pretty sure it's made up propaganda". Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 21:35

An article from 2014 (predating the one in Tablet by Elad) https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4543634,00.html seems to be a valuable secondary source:

In 2010, Egyptian magazine Rose al-Yusuf reported that Haniyeh paid for $4 million for a 2,500msq parcel of land area in Rimal, a tony beachfront neighborhood of Gaza City. To avoid embarrassment, the land was registered in the name of the husband of Haniyeh's daughter. Since then, there have been reports that Haniyeh has purchased several homes in the Gaza Strip, registered in the names of his children - no hardship, as he has 13 of them.

The article also mentions Mashal

In 2012, a Jordanian website reported that Mashal had control of a massive $2.6 billion, in large part deposited in Qatari and Egyptian banks. This is likely Hamas' accumulated assets from years through donations, as well as its investments in various projects in the Arab and Muslim world.

So Mashal had control of 2.6B but whether you can call that his net worth is not something I am able to prove or disprove.

  • 9
    thanks for finding this, however, "a Jordanian website" doesn't seem like a reliable conclusion to me
    – Avery
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 21:13
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    @Avery: I mostly agree, but I'm a bit surprised to see you be the one to make that statement, since your answer only cites a source that you don't seem to consider reliable, and indeed, the thrust of your answer seems to be that these claims originate with that source. So this answer seems like a good rebuttal of yours, even if your answer and this one are both bad answers from a Skeptics standpoint.
    – ruakh
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 21:51
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    Finding reliable information on the illicit gains of the leaders of any organization is not easy, doing the same with an organization billed as a terrorist organization by many double so. Be my guest, though.
    – chx
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 21:57
  • 6
    "Controls" money and "owns" money are two different things. Your article seems to point out that the 2.6B would be Hamas money, or even Gaza's Government full budget, and Mashal its treasurer.
    – Rekesoft
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 12:19

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