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US, Britain Levy More Sanctions On Hamas leaders

US, Britain levy more sanctions on Hamas leaders

On Wednesday, the United States and Britain jointly enforced a new wave of sanctions, targeting individuals in Turkey and other regions linked to the Palestinian Hamas group, as announced by the US Treasury Department. The sanctions specifically zero in on eight officials instrumental in advancing Hamas’ agenda abroad and managing its financial operations, according to the Treasury’s official statement.

Brian Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the strategic use of well-placed officials and networks by Hamas. He noted the group’s exploitation of seemingly permissive jurisdictions to conduct fundraising campaigns, directing the proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza.

Several of the sanctioned Hamas officials, including Haroun Mansour Yaqoub Nasser Al-Din, a key financial operative, were based in Turkey. The Treasury revealed that Al-Din had been involved in a network facilitating the transfer of funds from Turkey and Gaza to the Hamas command center in Hebron, West Bank. These funds were used to subsidize Hamas activities, contributing to unrest in the West Bank.

Brian Nelson had previously undertaken a trip to Oman and Turkey in late November as part of US efforts to disrupt Hamas and other groups’ fundraising and financial operations. The coordinated actions also saw Britain imposing sanctions on seven individuals linked to Hamas, including Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas’ co-founder, and Ali Baraka, the head of external relations.

Read more :Israel and Hamas Extend Truce Amid Ongoing Tensions

The UK’s sanctions additionally targeted a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and individuals within the financial network supporting Hamas, spanning locations such as Lebanon and Algeria. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron stated that the sanctions aimed to sever Hamas’ access to funding and further isolate the group.

Hamas, however, denounced the sanctions as unjustified, with official Sami Abu Zuhri characterizing the US and Britain as enemies of the Palestinian people and nation. The move follows earlier US sanctions imposed after Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7, which resulted in criticism from the group and ongoing geopolitical tensions.