Kuwaiti tycoon runs Hamas’s newest sharia bankNovember 21, 2013
In May, Kuwaiti businessman Dr. Riyadh Al-Khulaifi launched Al-Intaj bank, an Islamic financial institution that has no license to operate from the Palestinian Monetary Authority. Hamas and Al-Khualifi conceived of the bank to help keep Hamas afloat, to help evade international sanctions, and to increase sharia-compliant services in Gaza.
Hamas is probably concerned that Islamic National Bank, the other unlicensed sharia bank upon which the terrorist group relies, could be disrupted again by Israel, prompting the creation of Al-Intaj.
Al-Khulaifi is a member the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated group that supports “armed resistance.” His leadership over the Gaza bank could indicate an acceleration in Kuwait’s foot race with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to see who can buy the most Islamist loyalty abroad.
From IslamicFinance.de earlier this year:
A new bank is set to be inaugurated in the Gaza Strip next week, although it has not yet received the necessary license from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA). The Al-Intaj bank has a capital of $20m and a board of directors chaired by Kuwaiti businessman and member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, Dr Riyadh Al-Khulaifi. The bank… will be headquartered in Gaza City and have branches in other parts of Gaza Strip in the coming years. 50% of its capital will be channelled to production-oriented activities, while 40% will be allocated to the traditional transactions. The remaining 10% will be set aside to the ‘murabahat’ (Shari’ah-compliant transactions), the lender’s deputy board chairman Rushdi Wadi said.