Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Tuesday thanked Japan for moving to sanction top Hamas leaders, including the terror group’s chief in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.
Tokyo also announced sanctions on Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s “military wing,” and his deputy Marwan Issa.
“Israel welcomes Japan’s government decision to freeze assets and impose sanctions on payments and capital transactions on three of the senior members of the Hamas terrorist organization,” said Cohen.
“Hamas is a barbaric terror organization, worse than ISIS, that murdered, executed and massacred more than 1,200 people on Oct. 7, and is using the people of Gaza as human shields. We thank Japan for its strong commitment to combating and fostering a world free of terrorism,” he added.
Tokyo’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said earlier on Tuesday that the trio’s assets would be frozen and their payments and transactions sanctioned, according to Reuters.
In September, Israeli Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat and his Japanese counterpart Yasutoshi Nishimura met in Tel Aviv and signed an economic and innovation agreement between their nations.
Nishimura brought a trade delegation of 80 Japanese company representatives as Tokyo and Jerusalem explored a possible free-trade agreement that would expand their $3.3 billion commercial relationship.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed advancing bilateral relations with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida this past February.
Jerusalem and Tokyo agreed in November 2022 to move towards signing a free-trade agreement, which then-Prime Minister Yair Lapid said would entail “discounts for products and goods from Japan for the benefit of the Israeli market and increasing Israeli exports to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world.”