The United States government announced new sanctions against leaders of Hamas as well as organizations with financial ties to the group.
The U.S. Treasury Department has now brought sanctions against almost 1,000 people and entities connected to Hamas as well as Hezbollah and other “Iran-aligned terrorist groups in the region.”
“The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen in a press release on Oct. 18. “The U.S. Treasury has a long history of effectively disrupting terror finance and we will not hesitate to use our tools against Hamas.”
“We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel,” Yellen continued. “That includes by imposing sanctions and coordinating with allies and partners to track, freeze, and seize any Hamas-related assets in their jurisdictions.”
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 10 individuals and groups with Hamas ties. At least six of the people are reportedly involved in Hamas’ secret investment portfolio.
The OFAC also sanctioned Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company (Buy Cash), a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange, and its operator, Ahmed M. M. Alaqad.
“Hamas often relies on small-dollar donations, including through the use of virtual currency,” noted the Treasury. “While individual amounts may vary, any information can help identify new investigative links for law enforcement and help disrupt planned attacks.”
The list of designated people includes Ayman Nofal, a reported member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassim Brigades. Government officials have previously said Nofal was killed in an airstrike in the past week, per Axios.
As a result of the sanctions, the United States has taken possession of the designated persons’ and organization’s assets and properties within the country. The agency did not say how much property or what the total value of assets, if any, Hamas has in the U.S.
“In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action,” stated the Treasury. “The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.”
Hamas has been regarded as a terrorist organization by the U.S. since 1997.
An estimated 1,200 Israelis and 3,400 Palestinians have died since active conflict broke out between the two nations on Oct. 7.