US and UK impose new sanctions on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders

Third round of measures against Hamas-affiliated actors since October 7 attack on Israel

Smoke billows during the Israeli bombardment of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. AFP
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The US and UK on Tuesday levied a third round of sanctions on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, the US Treasury department announced.

The measures also target “mechanisms” used by Iran to funnel support to the militant organisations.

The sanctions are aimed at groups and individuals including Nasser Abu Sharif, who serves as the PIJ representative to Iran and is the group's primary financier, a Treasury statement read.

Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on October 7 and Israel puts the death toll at 1,200, down from an initial estimate of 1,400. Another 240 were taken hostage.

“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,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

“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.”

In London, David Cameron, who was made Foreign Secretary on Monday in a cabinet reshuffle, said the UK would "use every tool at our disposal to disrupt the abhorrent activity of this terrorist organisation".

Additionally, the US State Department designated a military leader of the PIJ a global terrorist.

Washington placed Akram Al Ajouri, a Damascus-based leader of the Al Quds Brigades, on its sanctions list.

The US accused Mr Al Ajouri of being responsible for co-ordinating “the militant training and recruitment operations for PIJ in Gaza, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen”.

Tuesday's actions follow two previous rounds of sanctions targeting Hamas operatives and financiers.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 3:42 PM