Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook

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Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook
موسى محمد أبو مرزوق
Abu Marzook.JPG
Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau
In office
15 January 1997 – 23 January 2014
Succeeded byIsmail Haniyeh
Personal details
Born (1951-01-09) 9 January 1951 (age 71)
Rafah, Gaza Strip
Political partyHamas
Islamic Association of Palestine
Residence(s)New Cairo, Egypt[1]
Alma materAin Shams University
Colorado State University
Louisiana Tech University

Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook (Arabic: موسى محمد أبو مرزوق; born 9 January 1951) is a Palestinian senior member of Hamas.

Early life and education[edit]

Marzook's parents were from Yibna, Mandatory Palestine (now Yavne, Israel).[2] They became refugees after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and were forced to move to the Rafah camp in the Gaza Strip.[2] Marzook was born there on 9 January 1951.[2] He completed high school in Gaza, studied engineering in Cairo until 1976, and then looked for work in the Persian Gulf.[2] He continued his studies in the U.S. obtaining a master's degree in construction management from Colorado State University and a doctorate in industrial engineering from Louisiana Tech.[2][3]

Hamas involvement[edit]

Marzook has been active in the Islamic political work since 1968, Marzook played a significant role in reorganizing Hamas after the mass arrest of its members in 1989. Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar credits Abu Marzook's fundraising prowess, and his connections to donors in Europe and the US with saving the organization and developing its infrastructure in Gaza, including social service programs. Israel claims that some funds were used for attacks against Israel, a charge that Abu Marzouk denies.[3] Abu Marzook was elected as the first Hamas political bureau chief in 1992, and since 1997 has been deputy chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau.[4] Marzook founded the Islamic Association of Palestine.[5]


Marzook lived in Jordan from 1998 to 2001.[6] He then moved to Damascus, Syria in 2001.[6] As of 2012, Marzook lives in New Cairo, Egypt.[1]


In the mid-1990s Marzook was arrested in JFK airport in the US, although no formal charges placed against him. Two months after his detainment, Israel filed a request for the United States to extradite him. Represented by Stanley L. Cohen,[7] he spent the following 2 years fighting his case in the court system, but the final decision was for his extradition, after which Israel dropped its extradition request. With no formal charges against him the United States released him, but not wanting him to remain, the United States contacted numerous Arab countries to allow Marzook residency. All refused, except Jordan, which reportedly agreed under U.S. pressure.[citation needed] Cohen continues to legally represent Marzook.[1]

Criminal charges in the US[edit]

Marzook was listed as a Specially Designated Terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1995, and is currently on the renamed Treasury department Specially Designated National list under such alternative spellings of his name as Dr. Musa Abu-Marzuq, Sa'id Abu-Marzuq, Mousa Mohamed Abou Marzook, Musa Abu Marzouk, and Musa Abu Marzuk, and under the alias "Abu-'Umar."[8]

In 2002, a federal grand jury in Dallas returned an indictment against Marzook for conspiring to violate U.S. laws that prohibit dealings in terrorist funds. The indictment alleged that Marzook had conspired with the Richardson, Texas-based InfoCom Corporation and five of its employees to hide his financial transactions with the computer company. He allegedly invested $250,000 in InfoCom, with Infocom to make payments to Marzook based on the company's net profits or losses.[9]

In 2004 Ismail Elbarasse was detained by police in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge after Baltimore County police officers said they saw a woman (his wife) in the vehicle videotaping the Bridge, including footage of the cables and upper supports of the main span. Elbarasse was an assistant to Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, and was named an unindicted co-conspirator by a grand jury in Chicago after authorities searched the home and vehicle of Elbarasse and found bank records belonging to Marzook, deputy chief of Hamas's political wing. A federal indictment charged Marzook in an alleged conspiracy that authorities said raised millions of dollars for Hamas.[10]

In 2004, a U.S. court indicted him in absentia for coordinating and financing Hamas activities.[11]

Interview with The Forward[edit]

In April 2012, Marzook gave what was billed as his "first-ever interview with a Jewish publication", The Forward.[1] Marzook said that an agreement between Israel and the P.A. would have to be ratified by a referendum of all Palestinians, including those in Gaza. He would regard it as a hudna, or cease-fire, rather than as a peace treaty. If Hamas gained power, they would feel free to change provisions of the agreement. "We will not recognize Israel as a state", he said. "It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel", that is, an armed truce.

The Forward requested the interview, which took place over two days at Marzook's home in New Cairo, Egypt.[1][3] The Forward published responses to the interview from eight "prominent observers of the Middle East peace process", Laura Kam of The Israel Project, Israeli security analyst Yossi Alpher, Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now, Princeton University Professor Daoud Kuttab, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, Arab-American activist Hussein Ibish, David Keyes of Advancing Human Rights and political scientist Nathan Brown.[12][13]

Operation Pillar of Defense[edit]

Following the eight-day cross-border battle between Israel and Hamas in November, 2012, Moussa Abu Marzouk said that Hamas would not stop making weapons in Gaza or smuggling them to the territory. According to the Associated Press, Moussa Abu Marzouk is the No 2 leader in Hamas.[14]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Forward 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Senior Hamas leader: Israel exists". Ynet. 20 February 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Larry Cohler-Esses (19 April 2012). "Hamas Wouldn't Honor a Treaty, Top Leader Says". The Forward.
  4. ^ Profile on Islam Online website
  5. ^ United States Senate official website
  6. ^ a b Baghdadi, George (10 December 2001). "Hamas is Still Defiant". Time. Damascus. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Hamas’ Political Chief Has Jewish Lawyer." Algemeiner. 20 April 2012. 29 April 2012.
  8. ^ [SPECIALLY DESIGNATED NATIONALS AND BLOCKED PERSONS "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL, 4 April 2011]
  9. ^ U.S. Department of Justice info. on InfoCom Corporation
  10. ^ Rich, Markon, Eric, Jerry (25 August 2004). "Va. Man Tied to Hamas Held as Witness". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  11. ^ U.S. indictment in absentia for Hamas activities Archived 30 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Reading Hamas". The Forward. 29 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Reading Hamas II". The Forward. 30 April 2012.
  14. ^ "AP Interview: Hamas No. 2 rejects Gaza arms halt". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. 24 November 2012. Archived from the original on 24 November 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)


External links[edit]