December 16, 2023

US and UK jointly sanction Hamas leaders and finance officials

Authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom have imposed additional sanctions on Hamas in response to its October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, targeting key officials who represent Hamas’ interests abroad and manage the group’s finances.  Among those jointly designated is Lebanon-based Maher Rebhi Obeid, who has been part of Hamas’ Political Bureau since 2010 and is thought to have served as a militant commander in the West Bank responsible directing attacks in Gaza.  Another joint designee is Lebanon-based Ali Abed Al Rahman Baraka, the head of Hamas’s National Relations Abroad, who has defended the October 7 attacks publicly, justified the taking of hostages, and was allegedly arrested by Lebanese authorities while in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars that he intended to smuggle into Gaza.

The coordinated designations were imposed on December 13, 2023.  The United Kingdom designated six individuals under the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulation (SI 2019/573), which subjects designees to travel bans and asset freezes in the United Kingdom.  On the same day, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control designated eight individuals pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, which targets terrorist groups and their supporters.  As a result of the OFAC designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

UK Government Press Release | US Department of Treasury Press Release