My Mideast Punchlines: our hard-earned cash for bullets and belly dancers…no kidding

Hamas reportedly gets $1 billion annually from taxing goods that enter the Gaza Strip, which it has controlled since 2007, and from charitable contributions by organizations and individuals abroad. Various reports indicate that over the years it has also been taking a cut from the funding provided by Western and Arab governments to help Gaza’s impoverished 1.8 million Palestinians. A 2010 assessment by Israel’s Shin Bet security agency put the organization’s expenditures on salaries and weaponry at some $300 million.

Despite a downturn in its fortunes – with Iran and Egypt cutting off aid in recent years, it has money-bearing investments. i24news analyst Ali Waked says the organization reaps revenues from investments in tourism and entertainment businesses in Turkey and elsewhere.

Small FistYou’ve Got to be Kidding (1): What, taking a cut from US and EU taxpayers’ money (that’s you and me, folks)? Whoever would have thought such a thing? When Western governments insist on pampering terror organisations with monetary largesse, it’s time to call in the men in white coats.

You’ve got to be kidding (2): Entertainment business in Turkey? Surely that can mean only one thing: belly dancing! Now we all know that the parading of undulating female flesh is banned in Gaza. Indeed, music and dance is punishable by death (there’s the famous, or rather infamous, case of the wedding party that was machine-gunned for having the temerity to sing and dance). So the Hamas leadership pack themselves off to the hedonistic delights of Istanbul for a bit of R & R. And no prizes for guessing whose money will be stuffed down the bikinis of the belly dancers.



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