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Israeli foreign minister thanks US and UK for imposing new sanctions on Hamas officials

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar attends a rally marking the 34th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City, December 17, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen thanked the United States and the United Kingdom on Wednesday for imposing a new round of sanctions on more than a dozen Hamas officials and their associates responsible for managing and promoting the terrorist organization’s finances abroad.

Both the U.S. and the UK imposed sanctions on Gaza-based members Ismail Barhum and Nizar Awadallah; West Bank-based Hassan Al-Wardian; Lebanon-based Ali Baraka and Maher Obeid; and Turkey-based Haroun Nasser Al-Din, Jihad Yaghmour and Mehmet Kaya. Others included on the UK-sanctioned list are Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas political leader; Akram al-Ajouri, the Syria-based deputy secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); Lebanon-based Khaled Chouman and Rida Ali Khamis; as well as Algeria-based Hamas financier Aiman Ahmad Al Duwaik.

The recent round of sanctions is the fourth set since Hamas committed the brutal massacre in southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,200 people and abducting 240 others as hostages into Gaza.

“Imposing these sanctions is another step in the joint fight on the diplomatic front against the terror group, worse than ISIS, through all means available to the international community,” Cohen said.

The United States Treasury Department confirmed that the sanctions are aimed at central Hamas officials.

“Today’s action targets key officials who perpetuate Hamas’s violent agenda by representing the group’s interests abroad and managing its finances,” the Treasury Department wrote in a press release, which quoted Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

“Hamas continues to rely heavily on networks of well-placed officials and affiliates, exploiting seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for the group’s benefit and funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza,” Nelson said.

“We remain focused, as do our allies and partners, on leveraging our collective tools and authorities to degrade Hamas’ ability to fund additional attacks and further destabilize the region.” 

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron concurs that Hamas must be ousted from Gaza.

“Hamas can have no future in Gaza. Today’s sanctions on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad will continue to cut off their access to funding and isolate them further. We will continue to work with partners to reach a long-term political solution so that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace,” Cameron stated.

For its part, Hamas condemned the new round of sanctions “in the strongest terms.”

“This unjust decision, which is based on false claims and incitement by the Zionist entity, will not deter the Hamas movement from continuing its duty to defend the legitimate national rights of our Palestinian people,” the Iranian-backed terrorist organization said in a statement.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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