The U.S. on Friday issued a second round of sanctions on the Palestinian group Hamas following its attack this month on Israeli communities, including by targeting a Hamas official in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the measures targeted additional assets in a Hamas investment portfolio and people facilitating sanctions evasion by Hamas-affiliated companies.
A Gaza-based entity that Treasury said has served as a conduit for illicit Iranian funds to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group was also targeted, the department said. Iran backs Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East.
“Today’s action underscores the United States’ commitment to dismantling Hamas’s funding networks by deploying our counterterrorism sanctions authorities and working with our global partners to deny Hamas the ability to exploit the international financial system,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in the release
“We will not hesitate to take action to further degrade Hamas’s ability to commit horrific terrorist attacks by relentlessly targeting its financial activities and streams of funding.”
Israel has bombarded the densely populated Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on communities in southern Israel.
Israel says Hamas killed some 1,400 people including children, and took more than 200 hostages, some of them infants, in the assault.
The Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry said on Thursday that 7,028 Palestinians had been killed in Israel’s retaliatory air strikes, including 2,913 children.
Reuters could not independently verify the tolls.
Friday’s action freezes any U.S. 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.
The Treasury said it imposed sanctions on a Jordanian national who lives in the Iranian capital, Tehran, and who it said serves as the representative of Hamas in Iran, as well as Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officials who train and assist members of Hamas and other militant groups.
An Iran-based commander of the Saberin Special Forces Brigade of the IRGC Ground Force was also targeted. The U.S. Treasury said the Saberin Brigade has deployed to Syria and has provided training to Hamas and members of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
Sudan and Spain-based companies were also targeted under Friday’s measures, as were Turkey-based shareholders of a company previously designated as part of the Hamas investment portfolio.
The United States has said that the Hamas portfolio of investments, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, includes companies operating in Turkey, as well as Sudan, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.
This month’s violence has led to fears of a broader conflict in the Middle East.
The U.S. military on Thursday carried out strikes against two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and groups it backs, the Pentagon said, in response to a spate of attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.
As tension soars over the Israel-Hamas conflict, U.S. and allied troops have been attacked at least 12 times in Iraq and four times in Syria by Iran-backed forces.
Source » hindustantimes