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After Israel attack, US follows Hamas trail of money

As Israel fights Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the United States is waging its own battle against the militant group’s finances.
Palestinian Hamas supporters raise flags as they rally in support of the occupied West Bank and the Nablus-based Lion's Den armed group (Areen Al-Asood), following the Friday noon prayers in Gaza City, on Nov. 25, 2022.

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WASHINGTON —  For Hamas, losing control of the Gaza Strip means losing its biggest source of revenue. The Palestinian militant group that attacked Israel on Oct. 7 was propped up for years by its main patron, Iran, a global portfolio of investments, and a network of private donors and financial facilitators. 

But since its violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has generated vast sums through extortion and taxation in the impoverished coastal territory it governs. 

“When Hamas is the government, they’re able to tax,” said Matthew Levitt, a former US Treasury Department official specializing in counterterrorism and intelligence. “Money comes from Qatar, they tax it. Humanitarian goods come from the UN, they tax it.”

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