In an effort to stop supporting the Palestinian organization after its attack on Israel last month, the US and the UK launched new sanctions on Hamas fighters on Tuesday.
“We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt the abhorrent activity of this terrorist organisation, working with the United States and our other allies, making it harder for them to operate and isolating them on the world stage,” Britain’s newly-appointed foreign minister, David Cameron, said in a statement.
Reuters reports that the United States announced its third round of sanctions since the attack, targeting key Hamas officials and the mechanisms through which Iran provides support to Hamas and its ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), another terrorist group.
Britain added sanctions on four Hamas senior leaders and two financiers, the Foreign Office said in a statement, including the group’s political leader in Gaza and the commander of its military arm.
“The United States will continue to work with our partners, including the UK, to deny Hamas the ability to raise and use funds to carry out its atrocities,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Hamas’s actions have caused immense suffering and shown that terrorism does not occur in isolation. Together with our partners we are decisively moving to degrade Hamas’s financial infrastructure, cut them off from outside funding, and block the new funding channels they seek to finance their heinous acts.”
According to the report; Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the terrorist group’s fighters burst across the fence around the Gaza enclave on October 7 and rampaged through Israeli towns, killing civilians. Israel says 1,200 people were killed and around 240 were dragged back to Gaza as hostages in the deadliest day of its 75-year history.
Medical officials in Hamas-run Gaza say more than 11,000 people are confirmed dead from Israeli strikes, around 40% of them children, and countless others trapped under rubble. Around two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been made homeless, unable to escape the crowded territory where food, fuel, fresh water and medical supplies are running out.
The United States on Tuesday also issued guidance on providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people despite sanctions on Hamas, clarifying that US measures “do not stand in the way of legitimate humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.”
Hamas is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, the European Union, Britain and others.
While Americans are generally barred from engaging in transactions with Hamas and PIJ, neither Gaza or the West Bank are subject to an embargo or jurisdiction-based sanctions, the guidance said.
It clarified that transactions in support of certain nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities are authorized, such as providing lifesaving medical assistance to civilians in Gaza at a hospital staffed or occupied by Hamas. Transactions related to official business of certain international organizations, such as the United Nations, are also authorized, the guidance said.