In a move meant to target the finances of the terrorist group Hamas, the Treasury Department on Tuesday sanctioned several people and entities connected to a secretive Hamas investment network with $500 million in assets.
“Today’s action targets the individuals and companies that Hamas uses to conceal and launder funds,” Elizabeth Rosenberg, the assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes, said in a press release.
The sanctions, announced while Rosenberg was in Israel to discuss efforts to counter terrorist financing, target a senior Hamas official, three Hamas financial facilitators and six companies — operating in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates — that have generated revenue for Hamas through the group’s Investment Office.
The sanctions build on government policy toward Hamas going back more than a decade and a half, said Michael Greenwald, who served as U.S. Treasury attaché to Qatar and Kuwait from 2015 to 2017. But they also come several months after the Biden administration pledged to constrain its use of sanctions following a 2021 review of financial and economic sanctions.
“I think there is a higher bar now because I think there’s a recognition that we don’t want to overuse our sanctions authority,” Greenwald said. “I think when you see this administration take actions following that review, it means that they’re significant.”
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