Bipartisan bill seek to sanction Hamas financial supporters

Two congressman, one of whom served in the IDF, have presented a potential bill sanctioning organisations funding Hamas

 Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades take part in a military festival organized by Hamas to honor the dead Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, on October 4, 2021 (photo credit: ATIA MOHAMMED/FLASH90)
Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades take part in a military festival organized by Hamas to honor the dead Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, on October 4, 2021
(photo credit: ATIA MOHAMMED/FLASH90)

A bipartisan bill seeks to impose sanctions on foreign persons, agencies, and governments that assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or their affiliates. The “Hamas International Financing Prevention Act” was re-introduced by Republican Rep. Brian Mast of Florida and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey.

What the bill would require

The bill would require the president to submit to Congress an annual report for the next three years identifying “foreign persons, agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign state who knowingly and materially assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or an affiliate or successor of one of those organizations.”

After identifying the organizations, the president must impose two or more sanctions, including denying export-import guarantees or seizure of property held within the United States, among other sanctions.

If signed into law, it would also require the president “to report to Congress on each government that provides support for acts of terrorism and provides material support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any affiliate or successor organization, or the president determines to have engaged in a significant transaction to knowingly and materially provide support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any affiliate or successor organization.”

After identifying the governments, the two lawmakers explained in a statement, the president must suspend US assistance to that government for one year, instruct the executive directors of each international financial institution to vote against any loan or technical assistance to that government and prohibit any munitions export to that government for one year.

 PALESTINIAN POLICE loyal to Hamas perform a demonstration during a graduation ceremony in Gaza City in October. (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS) PALESTINIAN POLICE loyal to Hamas perform a demonstration during a graduation ceremony in Gaza City in October. (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)

“Additionally, the president must prohibit that government’s transactions in foreign exchanges that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and prevent that government’s transfers of credits or payments between financial institutions subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” their statement reads.

“Following my service in the Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy, and mutual respect for all people,” Rep. Mast said in his statement. “The United States cannot reward any person, group or government who supports radical Islamic terrorists that chant destruction of Israel and the values we hold dear.”

“Following my service in the Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy, and mutual respect for all people,the United States cannot reward any person, group or government who supports radical Islamic terrorists that chant destruction of Israel and the values we hold dear.”

Rep. Brian Mast, Florida

Gottheimer said that “Israel, our key ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, continues to endure threats from militant jihadists and extremists like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“These groups have long targeted innocent Israeli civilians and are dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state – they exist solely to destroy it. These terrorists have also killed countless Americans and our allies. I remain committed to ensuring that we isolate and punish radical terrorist groups like Hamas and PIJ by cutting off their financial resources,” the congressman concluded.

“These groups have long targeted innocent Israeli civilians and are dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state – they exist solely to destroy it. These terrorists have also killed countless Americans and our allies. I remain committed to ensuring that we isolate and punish radical terrorist groups like Hamas and PIJ by cutting off their financial resources,”

The Congressman