Claim: The Israel Foreign Ministry posted a picture on November 4, alleging that Forbes’ October cover featured a leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal with a net worth of $5 billion, accompanied by derogatory remarks about his source of income.
Additional Information: The claim received widespread attention on social media, with many mistakenly attributing the information to Forbes. Israeli Official social media accounts also shared similar claims about the fortunes of Hamas leaders without providing proof.
Verification: A spokesperson for Forbes has refuted this claim, stating that the cover in question, resembling a Forbes edition dated October 7, 2023, is fabricated. Forbes officially stated that it did not publish a cover featuring Khaled Mashal or any information about his fortune in October. Additionally, a search in the complete list of the world’s billionaires for 2023, which included 2640 people, did not include Khaled Mashal. The magazine’s October edition focused on leaders in the Middle East and did not mention Khaled Mashal at all.
Reuters contacted Forbes, and the magazine confirmed that it did not publish such a cover. The October/November issue of Forbes features Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the cover. No recent articles about Khaled Meshaal were found on the Forbes website, and the image used in the fake cover is from a Reuters photograph taken in 2012 during Meshaal’s visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City.
Repetitive Lies: This is not the first time Israeli sources have made false unverified claims about the wealth of Hamas leaders. Earlier, the Israeli Embassy in the United States shared uncorroborated information about the net worth of several other Hamas leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh, claiming he had a net worth of $4 Billion.
Conclusion: The Forbes cover featuring Khaled Mashal and the accompanying information about his fortune are fabricated, as confirmed by Forbes and Reuters. The Israeli Foreign Ministry later clarified that the cover was satire.