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Hamas Budget a Small Step Toward Transparency

The Hamas government’s publication of a budget is encouraging, yet only a small step on the road to achieving an acceptable level of transparency, competence and professionalism, writes Omar Shaban.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal gives a speech during a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, in Gaza City December 8, 2012. Meshaal, in an uncompromising speech during his first ever visit to Gaza after decades of exile, told a mass rally on Saturday he would never recognise Israel and pledged to "free the land of Palestine inch by inch". REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY CIVIL UNREST)
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From movement to government

Until 2007, Hamas took care of its members — who at the time did not exceed 10,000 — and of its educational and social institutions with a budget that did not exceed $4-5 million per month. Since it rose to power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after infighting with the Palestinian Authority, however, its government has become theoretically responsible for more than a million and a half Palestinians with an annual budget that stands at $890 million for 2013.

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