US Designates Hamas Leaders Over Terror Organization’s ‘Secret Investment Portfolio’
The US Treasury Department on Tuesday designated four officials of the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization who have played key roles in maintaining what is being described as its “secret investment portfolio.”
A statement from the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) noted that the designated officials were overseeing a network with “assets estimated to be worth more than $500 million, including companies operating in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While Hamas’s Shura Council and Executive Committee exercise control and oversight of the group’s international investment portfolio, the Investment Office is in charge of the day-to-day management of this investment portfolio.”
The four designated Hamas leaders include Ahmed Sharif Abdallah Odeh, a Jordanian national who “regularly met with senior Hamas officials, gave presentations about the portfolio’s business activities, and coordinated financial transfers on behalf of the group,” according to the OFAC statement.
The list also includes Usama Ali, who was appointed as the head of the Investment Office in 2017; Hisham Younis Yahia Qafisheh, who held “key roles in several companies controlled by Hamas;” and Abdallah Yusuf Faisal Sabri, an accountant based in the Hamas-controlled Finance Ministry in Gaza.
“Today’s action targets the individuals and companies that Hamas uses to conceal and launder funds,” Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg said during a visit to Israel to discuss counter-terrorist financing efforts.
“Hamas has generated vast sums of revenue through its secret investment portfolio while destabilizing Gaza, which is facing harsh living and economic conditions,” she continued. “Hamas maintains a violent agenda that harms both Israelis and Palestinians. The United States is committed to denying Hamas the ability to generate and move funds and to holding Hamas accountable for its role in promoting and carrying out violence in the region.”
The OFAC move was welcomed by the State Department, which charged Hamas with having “amassed hundreds of millions in its secret investment portfolio” while Palestinians in Gaza “face harsh living and economic conditions” under the group’s iron-fisted rule.
“The United States is committed to denying Hamas the ability to generate and move funds and to holding it to account for its role in promoting and carrying out violence,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.