Israel Sanctions Entities Embroiled in Hamas Terror Finance Network
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday signed a seizure order to levy sanctions against 20 people and organizations that allegedly are part of an international money laundering mechanism facilitating funds for the Palestinian Hamas terror group.
“This is a significant designation from both an operational perspective and the larger international perspective,” said Gantz. “Our policy is clear: we will continue to support the transfer of funds to citizens, while stopping any attempt to funnel money invested in Hamas’ terror infrastructure and force buildup.”
The operation, conducted by the Israel Security Agency, the Defense Ministry’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), and the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate, found 20 parties that “play key roles in Hamas’ investment system,” valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
The terrorist organization’s international financing mechanism generates funds from an investment portfolio built on a “network of international companies that operate under the guise of legitimate companies and that conceal Hamas’ control of their holdings,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
The companies are mainly involved in real estate and infrastructure projects with operations in Sudan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria.
“In this manner, the investment system has deceived authorities, customers and suppliers (including banks), which were unaware of the terrorist organization’s ownership and control of these companies,” the defense ministry said.
The designated companies under the seizure, include Al-Rowad for Real Estate Development Company Ltd. (Sudan), which was created in 2010 and has since merged with several other Hamas companies in Sudan; Anda, a Saudi real estate and construction company, which allegedly is one of Hamas’ largest investments in the real estate and construction field; and Algeria-based Sidar and Agrogate Holding.
The Hamas finance operative cited for sanctions is Usama Ali, the head of the terror group’s investment system since 2017. Ali, a member of Hamas’ Shura Council, is closely connected with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the terror organization’s political branch, as well as with other senior Hamas officials.
“We will continue to thwart Hamas’ attempts to funnel funds intended for the terrorist organization’s force buildup,” stated Gantz.
Israel’s defense ministry said that the order conforms with the US administration’s sanctions imposed in May on Hamas’ “secret investment portfolio” of assets estimated to be worth more than $500 million.