US, UK slam Hamas with fresh round of sanctions

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The United States and Britain on Wednesday announced a fresh round of sanctions on Hamas over its deadly October 7 attack on Israel.

The measure “targets key officials who perpetuate Hamas’s violent agenda by representing the group’s interests abroad and managing its finances,” the US Treasury Department said.

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The United States has been ratcheting up pressure on the Palestinian militant group since its October attack that killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.

“Hamas continues to rely heavily on networks of well-placed officials and affiliates, exploiting seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for... funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said.

The sanctions target over a dozen Hamas officials and facilitators, including Gaza-based Ismail Barhum, whom the agency said acted as a regional finance executive “to aggregate money from global fundraising into official Hamas Finance Ministry accounts.”

Also sanctioned was Gaza-based Hamas cofounder Mahmoud Zahar as well as Lebanon-based Ali Baraka, the group’s head of external relations “who has publicly defended the October 7 attacks and sought to justify the taking of hostages,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement.

“Hamas can have no future in Gaza,” said British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. “Today’s sanctions on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad will continue to cut off their access to funding and isolate them further.”
He added: “We will continue to work with partners to reach a long-term political solution so that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.”

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