The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Wednesday (Oct. 18) imposed sanctions on ten key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators in Gaza and elsewhere including Sudan, Türkiye, Algeria, and Qatar.
Among those on the list was Ayman Nofal (Nofal), a senior commander of the Hamas military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassim Brigades, who was killed Tuesday in a targeted airstrike. Nofal was the commander of military relations for Hamas and served as a member of the terrorist group’s General Military Council. Nofal was also involved in Hamas’s coordination with separate terrorist factions in its attacks against Israel.
The sanctions target operatives managing assets in a secret Hamas investment portfolio, a Qatar-based financial facilitator with close ties to the Iranian regime, a key Hamas commander, and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange and its operator.
“Today’s designations are part of a continuous effort by the United States to root out Hamas’s sources of revenue in the West Bank and Gaza and across the region and is taken in close coordination with regional partners and allies,” the Treasury Department said in its announcement.
To date, the US Treasury has targeted nearly 1,000 individuals and entities connected to terrorism and terrorist financing by the Iranian regime and its proxies, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Iran-aligned terrorist groups in the region.
“The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.
“The US Treasury has a long history of effectively disrupting terror finance and we will not hesitate to use our tools against Hamas. We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel. That includes by imposing sanctions and coordinating with allies and partners to track, freeze, and seize any Hamas-related assets in their jurisdictions.”
This action builds on OFAC’s May 2022 designation of officials and companies involved in managing Hamas’s secret international investment portfolio, as well as dozens of sanctions imposed on Hamas and its networks since the founding of Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in 2004.
In addition to the funds Hamas receives from Iran, its global portfolio of investments generates vast sums of revenue through its assets, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with companies operating in Sudan, Algeria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries.
The companies in Hamas’s portfolio have operated under the guise of legitimate businesses and their representatives have attempted to conceal Hamas’s control over their assets. This investment network is directed by the highest levels of Hamas leadership and has allowed Hamas senior officials to live in luxury while ordinary Gaza residents struggle in harsh living and economic conditions.
The OFAC designated six individuals associated with Hamas’s secret investment portfolio, two senior Hamas officials, and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange and its operator.
“This action is taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorist groups and their supporters.
“Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist groups Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have each been designated by the Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations since October 1997. The groups have also been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) since October 2001,” the statement added.