Hamas Faces Financial Crisis
p>The Hamas government relies heavily on the taxes and tariffs imposed on goods flowing through the crossings with Israel and the tunnels with Egypt to cover monthly costs and payments for governance. The Hamas government taxes the majority of the Egyptian products to raise revenue, while the taxes on the Israeli supplies, including basic goods, go to the government in Ramallah. Now, the supply of goods smuggled from Egypt through underground tunnels has nearly come to a halt, severely exacerbating the economic hardship already being suffered by the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. Tax receipts from goods entering through the tunnels account for about 40% of the government's general revenue. Thus, as a result of the tunnel closures, the government has been forced to borrow from the National Islamic Bank in Gaza to pay the salaries of local staff.