A bipartisan bill aiming to cut funding to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip was introduced on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

If passed, the “Hamas International Financing Prevention Act,” H.R. 3685, will impose financial sanctions on foreign individuals, agencies or governments that assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any of their affiliates.

Introduced by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), the bill has so far received 55 co-sponsors.

It cites recent reporting of Hamas becoming the beneficiary of a surge of cryptocurrency donations since its conflict with Israel from May 10 to May 21, when a ceasefire was put in place.

“Last month, the terrorist group Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel while using Gazans, including women and children, as human shields. It is critical that the United States and our allies continue to isolate terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad by cutting them off at the source,” said Gottheimer, vice chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security. “This bill will strengthen sanctions to weaken these terrorist groups that threaten our ally Israel, undermine peace and further destabilize the Middle East.”

A similar version of the bill was introduced and passed by the House in the previous congressional session.

The bill requires that Congress receive an annual report for the next three years, identifying persons, agencies and instruments of a foreign state who knowingly materially assist Hamas or other terrorist organization and their affiliates in the Gaza Strip.

After identifying these organizations, the president must impose two or more sanctions through various methods listed in the legislation.

The administration will also be required to report on governments that knowingly provide support to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, suspend assistance from the United States and instruct executive directors of each international financial institution to vote against any loan or technical assistance to that government. It is also required to prohibit any munitions exports to that government for one year.

The bill was referred for review to the House Foreign Affairs and Financial Services committees.

JNS

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