Two unlicensed sharia banks sustain HamasNovember 7, 2013
Islamic National Bank and Al-Intaj have no approval from the Palestinian Monetary Authority to operate. These Islamic banks are dangerously under-capitalized and they circumvent international sanctions against Hamas. Even the rabidly anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada is admitting this situation:
Unlicensed banks provide “safety net” to besieged Gaza
29 October 2013
Gaza Strip—Two Islamic banks have played a critical role in helping Gaza cope with the siege imposed by Israel and enforced by the Egyptian government.
The Islamic National Bank and Al-Intaj have managed to stay in business despite attacks on them and threats to their operations; Israel bombed the Islamic National Bank in November last year. Meanwhile, the public sector which both banks sustain has been hampered by the closure of tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt.
Both banks operate without the approval of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), which was established under the 1993 Oslo accords to oversee the financial system in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead, they have been given permits to operate by the Hamas-led administration in Gaza.
Due to their lack of PMA approval, these banks can only work in the Gaza Strip, without connections with Israeli or international banks.
Mohsen Abu Ramadan, an economic analyst, said that the two banks have provided “a monetary safety net for the Hamas government, and replaced the licensed banks, which refused to deal with Hamas.”
The nexus between these banks and Hamas underscores once again the natural relationship that exists between Islamic banks and the financing of terrorist groups.