New Sanctions from the U.S. and Britain Target Hamas Officials Who Help Manage Its Financial Network

AP Photo/Eric Risberg
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers opening remarks during a finance ministers meeting, as part of the APEC Summit, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in San Francisco.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Wednesday announced new war-related of sanctions against Hamas, targeting eight officials and representatives who help manage the militant group’s financial network.

The penalties, coordinated with Britain, are the Treasury Department’s latest response to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel. The sanctions block access to U.S. property and bank accounts and prevent those designated from doing business with Americans.

The list included individuals based in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Turkey. Among them was Ismail Barhum, who the Treasury Department said in a statement was a member of the Gaza Strip Political Bureau and has worked with Hamas Finance Minister Zaher Jabarin, also under sanction, to aggregate money from global fundraising into the organization’s finance accounts.

Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Hamas exploits “seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for the group’s benefit and funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza.”

He said the U.S. and its allies are focused on “leveraging our collective tools and authorities to degrade Hamas’s ability to fund additional attacks and further destabilize the region.”

Earlier sanctions on Nov. 14 named Hamas leaders and financiers, on Oct. 27, targeted sources of support and financing, and on Oct. 18, designated operatives and financial facilitators.

U.S. officials said the new sanctions were coordinated with the Britain’s finance ministry and showed an allied commitment aimed at “dismantling networks that support Hamas funding streams as part of our continuous effort to prevent and deter its terrorist activity,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.