US sanctions Hamas official, finance network

The sanctions target Hamas’ Investment Office, which holds assets estimated to be worth more than $500m.

Palestinians wave green Hamas flags while celebrating the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza City
Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and is deemed a terrorist group in the West and by Israel [File: Adel Hana/Reuters]

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on a Hamas finance official and a network of financial facilitators and companies that have generated revenue for the Palestinian group, the US Department of the Treasury said.

The sanctions targeted Hamas’s Investment Office, which holds assets estimated to be worth more than $500m, including companies operating in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, the department said in a statement.

“Hamas has generated vast sums of revenue through its secret investment portfolio while destabilizing Gaza, which is facing harsh living and economic conditions,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes.

Hamas governs the Gaza Strip and is considered a terrorist group by Israel and many of its Western allies.

A Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, has denied the US allegations.

“The US allegations are incorrect and they come in the course of siding with the Israeli occupation and spreading its false allegations,” Abu Zuhri said.

The Hamas official cited for sanctions is Abdallah Yusuf Faisal Sabri, a Kuwait-based Jordanian national and accountant who has worked in Hamas’s finance ministry for several years, the US Treasury said.

The companies included Sudan-based Agrogate Holding, Algeria-based Sidar Company, UAE-based Itqan Real Estate JSC, Turkey-based Trend GYO and Saudi Arabia-based Anda Company, the department said.

Source: Reuters