ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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New round of US sanctions target Hamas’s Iranian funders and terror trainers

Controls focus on Tehran’s financial support to Gaza terror group, including officials from Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force accused of training Hamas terrorists

File - Palestinians take a kidnapped Israeli civilian, center, from the Nir Oz kibbutz into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (Hatem Ali/AP)
File - Palestinians take a kidnapped Israeli civilian, center, from the Nir Oz kibbutz into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (Hatem Ali/AP)

The United States on Friday expanded its effort to cut off funding for Hamas, announcing a second round of sanctions against people and organizations linked to the terror group since it launched the deadly terror attack on Israel on October 7 that killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

The new sanctions highlight Iran’s role in providing financial, logistical and operational support to Hamas, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement.

They include a Hamas representative in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

The sanctions were announced as Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo travelled to London to shore up support from Britain, one of America’s closest allies, for the drive to squeeze off funding for Hamas, which both countries consider a terrorist organization.

“Today’s action underscores the United States’ commitment to dismantling Hamas’s funding networks by deploying our counterterrorism sanctions authorities and working with our global partners to deny Hamas the ability to exploit the international financial system,” Adeyemo said.

Among those targeted are Khaled Qaddoumi, described as a liaison between Hamas and the Iranian government, and Ali Morshed Shirazi and Mostafa Mohammad Khani, officials in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force who are accused of training and assisting Hamas terrorists.

Israeli security forces gather on a cordoned-off street in Rishon Lezion where an apartment was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, on October 25, 2023, amid the ongoing war Israel and Hamas. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The US also sanctioned a number of organizations, including the Iranian Bonyad Shahid, also known as the Martyrs Foundation. US officials said the group, which is affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, funnels millions of dollars through the Gaza-based Al-Ansar Charity Association for the families of terrorists.

The practice “ultimately serves as a recruiting tool for terrorist activities,” the US said.

The sanctions freeze any US-based assets owned or controlled by the named individuals and organizations. They also block financial transactions with those designated and prohibit the contribution of funds, goods and services to them.

Most of the international funding for the Gazan terror groups comes from Iran, which has sponsored Hamas with some $100 million annually and the PIJ to the tune of tens of millions, according to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Hamas has also received over $1.5 billion in disbursements from Qatar over the past decade. The funds are officially aimed at covering salaries for public workers, fuel purchases and transfers to poor families, but the terror group deducts part of the payments and keeps it for its own operations.

Palestinians receive financial aid payments from Qatar at a post office in Gaza City, on June 27, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of being a key force behind the coordinated Hamas attack on Israel, in which terrorists streamed across the border to carry out a devastating assault on nearby communities, killing some 1,400 people, and taking over 220 people hostage. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — including babies, children and the elderly. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists.

Israel says its war against Hamas is aimed at destroying the Iran-backed terror group’s infrastructure and has vowed to dismantle the organization after the massacres while minimizing harm to Gaza’s civilians. The IDF has been calling on Palestinians to evacuate from northern Gaza southward, as it intensifies strikes in the Gaza City area.

Gianluca Pacchiani contributed to this report.

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