Who is Hamas Blog

Do Hamas leaders actually live in the Gaza Strip?



Hamas leaders on a private jet. Credit: Uzair Khattak’s FB page.

A common question that arises in discussions about Hamas and its leadership is the actual residence of its leaders. Contrary to what some might assume, many senior figures of Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, do not reside in the Gaza Strip. This article delves into the current living arrangements of Hamas leaders, their historical journey to power, and the ascension of Ismail Haniyeh to the group’s leadership.

Where Are Hamas Leaders Living These Days?

Doha, Qatar’s skyline. Credit: ‘Hello Qatar’ FB page.

Senior leaders of Hamas, including Ismail Haniyeh, enjoy comfortable lives in countries like Iran, Qatar, Lebanon, and Turkey. In stark contrast to the dire situation in Gaza, these leaders live in luxurious conditions, far removed from the war and hardship. They manage significant operations from their foreign residences, including directing terrorist activities and engaging in international relations. This disparity highlights a significant gap between the experiences of the Hamas leadership and the everyday realities faced by the people of Gaza and that in fact, the lives of the people in Gaza and improving them, is not really part of their own financial equation.

The History of Hamas Leaders

The leadership of Hamas includes influential figures such as Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashal, Mousa Abu Marzook, and Saleh al-Arouri, each with a distinct history within the organization. Ismail Haniyeh, after Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006, rose to leadership and was appointed as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip. Saleh al-Arouri became involved in Hamas leadership after his release from Israeli prison in 2010, establishing the Judea and Samaria headquarters. Khaled Mashal and Mousa Abu Marzook have also played vital roles in the organization’s international strategies and policies.

Who Is Leading Hamas These Days?

The current senior figures in Hamas’ foreign leadership include Khaled Mashal, Mousa Abu Marzook, Ismail Haniyeh, and Saleh al-Arouri, among others. These individuals are instrumental in orchestrating Hamas’ international strategies and maintaining its terrorist activities across various countries​​.

The Rise of Ismail Haniyeh

Ismail Haniyeh. Credit: Inbar Cohen’s FB page.

Ismail Haniyeh’s journey to the helm of Hamas’ leadership is a story of political ascent and increasing influence. Before Hamas‘ electoral victory in 2006, Haniyeh was not a prominent member of the group. Post-election, he rose to prominence, eventually being appointed as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip. His wealth grew substantially during his tenure, partly due to the control exerted over the Gazan economy and taxation policies​​.

Haniyeh’s Lifestyle and Controversies

Haniyeh, despite his position, leads a life of comfort in Qatar, far removed from the hardships faced by the residents of Gaza. This has drawn criticism from many, including Palestinians. His family, too, enjoys significant privileges and freedoms not available to ordinary Gazans. Reports suggest that Haniyeh’s wealth has allowed him to invest in various properties in Gaza and abroad​​​​​​​​.


The dichotomy between the living conditions of Hamas leaders and the people of Gaza is stark. While leaders like Haniyeh live in luxury abroad, the residents of Gaza face significant hardships. This disparity raises questions about the leadership’s connection to the realities on the ground and how much the lives of their own civilians really play any part in their offensive decisions.



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