The US Treasury announced sanctions on 10 Hamas members, operatives and financial facilitators Wednesday, as conflict rages after the militant group’s surprise attack on Israel.
The new sanctions target individuals based in Gaza and elsewhere, including Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and Qatar, the department said in a statement.
“The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Hamas launched a surprise assault inside Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking hostages back into Gaza.
After Israel declared war and began retaliatory strikes, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians as well, according to Hamas health authorities.
More than 12,000 others have been wounded in Israel’s response to the militants’ attack.
The sanctions come as President Joe Biden visits Tel Aviv on Wednesday to show support for Israel and to hold meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a separate statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctioned parties helped enable Hamas to “carry out acts like the vicious attack on Israel.”
“Today’s actions are directed at Hamas terrorists and their support network, not Palestinians,” he added, calling for a release of hostages in its custody.
Yellen added that Washington will “continue to take all steps necessary” to deny Hamas the ability to raise funds for carrying out “atrocities.”
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said Wednesday that the United States is “committed to imposing more sanctions alone, and in coordination with our partners.”
The United States has previously designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.
To date, the Treasury said it has taken aim at nearly 1,000 individuals and entities connected to terrorism and terrorist financing by the Iranian regime and proxies including Hamas and Hezbollah.
– ‘Investment portfolio’ –
“In addition to the funds Hamas receives from Iran, its global portfolio of investments generates vast sums of revenue through its assets, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” the Treasury said.
Among those designated on Wednesday are six people associated with a Hamas “secret investment portfolio.”
They include Musa Muhammad Salim Dudin, a member of Hamas’s Political Bureau; as well as Abdelbasit Hamza Elhassan Mohamed Khair, a Sudan-based Hamas financier.
Two “senior Hamas officials,” were also targeted: Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah based in Qatar and Ayman Nofal, who was allegedly killed in an airstrike on Tuesday, the Treasury said.
The department also took aim at a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange, alongside its operator, noting that Hamas has relied on donations including via virtual currency.
As a result of the sanctions, property of designated individuals in the US must be blocked and reported, alongside other restrictions.
Financial institutions engaging in certain transactions with sanctioned parties could also expose themselves to enforcement.
“We’re cutting them off from access to their money,” said a Treasury official, adding that senior officials will also be traveling to coordinate with allies.