US imposes more sanctions on Hamas
US and UK target Hamas officials and mechanisms through which Iran provides support
Washington — The US on Tuesday imposed a third round of sanctions aimed at Palestinian militant group Hamas after its attack in October on Israel, targeting leaders and financiers of the group.
The US treasury department said in a statement the action, taken in co-ordination with Britain, targets key Hamas officials and the mechanisms through which Iran provides support to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
“The US will continue to work with our partners, including the UK, to deny Hamas the ability to raise and use funds to carry out its atrocities,” treasury secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement.
“Hamas’s actions have caused immense suffering and shown that terrorism does not occur in isolation. Together with our partners we are decisively moving to degrade Hamas’s financial infrastructure, cut them off from outside funding, and block the new funding channels they seek to finance their heinous acts.”
Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the militant group’s fighters burst across the fence around the Gaza enclave on October 7 and rampaged through Israeli towns killing civilians. Israel says 1,200 people were killed and about 240 were dragged back to Gaza as hostages in the deadliest day of its 75-year history.
Medical officials in Hamas-run Gaza say more than 11,000 people are confirmed dead from Israeli strikes, about 40% of them children, and countless others trapped under rubble. About two thirds of Gaza’s 2.3-million people have been made homeless, unable to escape the crowded territory where food, fuel, fresh water and medical supplies are running out.
Mahmoud Khaled Zahhar, a senior member and co-founder of Hamas, PIJ’s representative to Iran and the Damascus-based deputy secretary-general of PIJ and leader of its militant wing were among those placed under sanctions by Washington on Tuesday.
Lebanon-based money exchange company Nabil Chouman & Co was also targeted, along with its owner and founder. The treasury accused it of having served as a conduit for transferring funds to Hamas and said it transferred tens of millions of dollars to the group.
Tuesday’s move freezes any US assets of those targeted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them. Those that engage in certain transactions with them also risk being hit with sanctions.