US Imposes Sanctions on Hamas Members and Financial Facilitators Amid Escalating Conflict

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In response to the recent surge in hostilities following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, the United States Treasury has announced sanctions on ten individuals affiliated with the militant group. This move is part of a broader effort to disrupt the financial networks supporting Hamas, as the conflict continues to escalate.

The sanctioned individuals, including members, operatives, and financial facilitators, are based in various locations, spanning Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar, according to a statement released by the US Treasury Department.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the urgency of the action, condemning what she described as Hamas's "brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children." The assault, which occurred on October 7, resulted in a devastating toll, claiming over 1,400 lives, primarily civilians, and leading to hostage situations within Gaza.

In response to the attack, Israel declared war and initiated retaliatory strikes. Regrettably, nearly 3,500 lives have been lost in the Gaza Strip, predominantly civilians, as reported by Hamas health authorities. Moreover, over 12,000 individuals have suffered injuries due to Israel's response to the militant aggression.

This latest round of sanctions coincides with President Joe Biden's visit to Tel Aviv, underscoring the United States' unwavering support for Israel. During his visit, President Biden engaged in crucial discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on strategies to address the ongoing crisis.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a separate statement, asserted that the individuals subject to sanctions had played a role in enabling Hamas to carry out the vicious attack on Israel. He emphasized that these actions were directed at Hamas terrorists and their support network, not at the Palestinian population, and called for the immediate release of hostages held by the group.

Treasury Secretary Yellen affirmed that Washington is committed to taking all necessary measures to deprive Hamas of the resources required to carry out further acts of violence. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo also echoed this commitment, stating that the United States is prepared to impose additional sanctions independently or in cooperation with its international partners.

It is worth noting that Hamas has previously been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States. The Treasury Department disclosed that, beyond the funding received from Iran, Hamas maintains a significant global investment portfolio, generating substantial revenue.

Among the individuals targeted in this latest round of sanctions are Musa Muhammad Salim Dudin, a member of Hamas's Political Bureau, and Abdelbasit Hamza Elhassan Mohamed Khair, a Hamas financier based in Sudan. Additionally, the department identified two senior Hamas officials: Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah, based in Qatar, and Ayman Nofal, who was reportedly killed in an airstrike on Tuesday.

The Treasury Department also took action against a virtual currency exchange operating in Gaza, alongside its operator. It was noted that Hamas has relied on various forms of donations, including those facilitated through virtual currency.

Consequently, the designated individuals' assets within the United States must be frozen and reported, in addition to other imposed restrictions. Financial institutions engaging in specific transactions with these sanctioned parties may face enforcement actions.

A Treasury official emphasized that this initiative aims to sever Hamas's access to its financial resources, highlighting that senior officials will be mobilizing to coordinate efforts with international allies. The move signifies a resolute step in disrupting the financial mechanisms that sustain Hamas's operations, as the conflict continues to unfold.

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