Washington: The US State Department on Tuesday (local time) labelled Akram al-Ajouri, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad`s militant wing, as a specially designated global terrorist, CNN reported. The US Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on “key Hamas officials and the mechanisms by which Iran provides support to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).”Tuesday`s actions were the latest penal measures taken in response to the October 7 Hamas attack against Israel, and both the designation and sanctions are intended to impede individuals` and organizations` access to resources and funding, according to CNN.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that Al-Ajouri also serves as PIJ Deputy Secretary General. A separate statement by the US Treasury stated that he “coordinated the militant training and recruitment operations for PIJ in Gaza, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, and Yemen.”Meanwhile, the Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Mahmoud Khaled Zahhar, “a senior member and co-founder of Hamas who has worked closely with Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.”
“Zahhar has spoken publicly on behalf of Hamas, including in formal interviews, to threaten violence against Jewish civilians and emphasize its commitment to the destruction of Israel,” the Treasury Department said in a news release, adding, “As a Hamas representative, Zahhar has also acknowledged and thanked Iran for its support of Hamas.”Another individual, Mu`ad Ibrahim Muhammed Rashid al-Atili, was also sanctioned on Tuesday “for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hamas,” according to CNN.
The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on PIJ Representative to Iran Nasser Abu Sharif, the Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation, “a PIJ-run, Iran-funded organization whose primary mission is to provide financial support to the families of PIJ fighters and prisoners,” and the foundation`s leader, Jamil Yusuf Ahmad `Aliyan.
The Treasury Department has also sanctioned the Lebanon-based money exchange company Nabil Chouman & Co, which, according to the department, Hamas uses to transfer money from Iran to Gaza, as well as its founder, Nabil Khaled Halil Chouman, his son Khaled Chouman, and another Lebanon-based money exchanger, Reda Ali Khamis.”For several years, the company has served as a conduit for transferring funds to Hamas, transferring tens of millions of dollars to the terrorist organization,” CNN reported the Treasury Department as saying.