Recent reports have indicated that Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs the Gaza Strip, is in the grip of its worst budget crisis since it took over the territory in 2007. In an email interview, Omar Shaban, the founder and director of the Gaza-based think tank Palthink for Strategic Studies, explained the origins of the crisis.
WPR: What are the origins of the budget crisis facing Hamas?
Omar Shaban: Hamas’ budget crisis is attributed mainly to the closing of the tunnels between Gaza and Sinai in 2013. These tunnels were the main source of income for the government of Gaza since the international community boycotted the government. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, Hamas does not get international aid to help pay government salaries.