October 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on ten key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators in Gaza and elsewhere including Sudan, Türkiye, Algeria, and Qatar. This action targets members 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. To date, Treasury has targeted nearly 1,000 individuals and entities connected to terrorism and terrorist financing by the Iranian regime and its proxies, including Hamas, Hizballah, and other Iran-aligned terrorist groups in the region.

I know some economic sanctions were imposed in 2006-2007, but I am not sure why the U.S. wouldn't just keep piling on sanctions against Hamas regularly.


Is there a reason why the U.S. didn't impose the recent financial sanctions on Hamas preemptively before the recent attacks? You would think you'd want to sanction a terrorist group before they are able to do serious damage against another country, especially an American ally, but the U.S. government chose to impose the recent sanctions against Hamas after the attack. For example, some of the sanctions imposed against China recently were done preemptively before the Chinese military can gain any advantage, so I am wondering if there's a legitimate reason why it was only done recently against Hamas.


1 Answer 1


Doesn't the piece/quote say they've already sanctioned 1,000 people in the same manner, roughly for the same reason? Looking at the list of 8 extra people (and one company--involved in "virtual currency", by which I think they mean crypto) sanctioned therein on Oct 18, it appears to be a routine expansion of previous sanctions. Also, it's a bit clear that in some regards that's a whack-a-mole game:

Hamas often relies on small-dollar donations, including through the use of virtual currency. While individual amounts may vary, any information can help identify new investigative links for law enforcement and help disrupt planned attacks. OFAC appreciates members of the public who have tips related to Hamas fundraising, including information regarding Hamas’ on-line fundraising campaigns and specific information such as account numbers, and virtual currency wallet addresses. OFAC encourages anyone with information about activities that do not comply with sanctions to contact the OFAC Compliance Hotline.

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