The U.S. State and Treasury Departments announced sanctions and designations on Tuesday for the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations and their supporters.
The new measures represent the third round of sanctions on those affiliated with Hamas who were involved in the Oct. 7 terror attacks on southern Israel.
Foggy Bottom labeled Akram al-Ajouri, deputy secretary general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and “leader of its militant wing,” a “specially designated global terrorist.”
“Iran’s support, primarily through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, enables Hamas and PIJ’s terrorist activities, including through the transfer of funds and the provision of both weapons and operational training,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Iran has trained PIJ fighters to produce and develop missiles in Gaza while also funding groups that provide financial support to PIJ-affiliated fighters.”
Blinken added that Washington was coordinating with London “to protect the international financial system from abuse by Hamas and its enablers.”
The Treasury Department’s foreign assets control office designated seven people and two organizations.
The organizations are the Gaza-based Muhjat AlQuds Foundation, “a PIJ-run, Iran-funded organization, whose primary mission is to provide financial support to the families of PIJ fighters and prisoners”; and the Lebanon-based Nabil Chouman & Co, which “has served as a conduit for transferring funds to Hamas, transferring tens of millions of dollars to the terrorist organization.”
The seven are Nasser Abu Sharif, PIJ representative to Iran; Jamil Yusuf Ahmad ‘Aliyan, who leads the Muhjat AlQuds Foundation; Nabil Khaled Halil Chouman, owner and founder of Chouman, and his son, Khaled Chouman; the Lebanon-based money exchanger Reda Ali Khamis; Mahmoud Khaled Zahhar, a Hamas co-founder; and Mu’ad Ibrahim Muhammed Rashid al-Atili, another key Hamas official.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that Washington will continue to work with partners, including the United Kingdom, “to deny Hamas the ability to raise and use funds to carry out its atrocities.”
“Hamas’s actions have caused immense suffering and shown that terrorism does not occur in isolation,” Yellen stated. “Together with our partners we are decisively moving to degrade Hamas’s financial infrastructure, cut them off from outside funding and block the new funding channels they seek to finance their heinous acts.”
The sanctions block property and interests of the designated people and groups, including entities, in which designated people individually or collectively own more than a 50% stake. “The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior,” the Treasury Department stated.
Washington also designated Hamas operatives and financial backers on Oct. 18 and Oct. 27, as well as in May 2022.