Israel welcomes US sanctions on Hamas and Iranian terror leaders

September 11, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel has welcomed the US Department of the Treasury’s announcement that it has sanctioned a list of terrorist leaders from several organizations, including from Hamas and Iran’s Quds Force as “the right way to stop the Terror-State of Iran and its proxies.”

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz at the Transportation Ministry in Jerusalem on June 23, 2019. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Tuesday stated it utilized newly enhanced counterterrorism sanctions authorities to designate 15 terrorist leaders, facilitators, and entities, including from Hamas, the Islamic State (ISIS), al-Qa’ida, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF).

The Quds Force is commanded by the notorious General Qassem Soleimani and is responsible for spreading Iran’s subversive activities and terrorism across the Middle East and to other points around the globe.

The department noted these actions amount to “some of the furthest reaching designations of terrorists and their supporters in the past 15 years.”

Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the new authorities allow the US Government to “starve terrorists of resources they need to attack the United States and our allies, and will hold foreign financial institutions who continue to do business with them accountable.”

“These new tools aid our unrelenting efforts to cut off terrorists from their sources of support and deprive them of the funds required to carry out their destructive activities,” he added.

Hamas leader Zaher Jabarin was one of the officials sanctioned. Turkey-based Jabarin is the head of Hamas’ Finance Office. He manages Hamas’ yearly budget amounting to tens of millions of dollars, is in charge of all Hamas’ income from various elements around the world, and seeks additional sources of funding for Hamas.

Jabarin was focused on developing a financial network in Turkey that would allow Hamas to raise, invest, and launder money prior to transferring it to terror networks in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

Jabarin has also served as the primary point of contact between Hamas and Iran’s Quds Force.  Since 2017, there was growing contact between IRGC-QF and Hamas officials focused on increased funding from Iran.

Jabarin was involved in the transfer of millions of dollars to Hamas via Redin Exchange, also sanctioned on Tuesday.

As of March 2019, the Turkey-based Redin Exchange and Treasury-designated financial facilitator Muhammad Sarur were involved in a $10 million dollar transfer to Hamas’ operational arm, the Izz-Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.

As of mid-2018, Redin Exchange was identified as a key part of the infrastructure used to transfer money to Hamas. Throughout 2017, tens of millions of dollars was transferred to Hamas with the assistance of Redin Exchange.

Marwan Mahdi Salah Al-Rawi, Redin Exchange’s Chief Executive Officer, was also sanctioned.

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz welcomed the US decision as “the right way to stop the Terror-State of Iran and its proxies.”

He called on the international community to join the US and increase pressure on Iran.

“Only pressure will cause Iran to abandon its nuclear program and stop spreading terrorism all over the world and destabilizing the Middle East,” he said.

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