The website of US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, has announced that a group of Congressmen have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury urging it to do more to designate and sanction individuals and entities that provide financial, political or material support for Hamas. According to the announcement:
December 9, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – Today U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, was joined by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, and Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury urging it to do more to designate and sanction individuals and entities that provide financial, political or material support for Hamas – a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization. The letter was cosigned by 20 additional Members of the two subcommittees. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
‘It’s no secret that Turkey and Qatar provide refuge to many Hamas operatives, and that both of these supposed American allies have become major terror financial hubs. While the Treasury Department has taken significant action against Hamas and its supporters, more can be done to halt support for this terrorist group. Both Turkey and Qatar have thus far been extremely lax in enforcing their terror financing laws and taking action against U.S. designated individuals or entities. By going after those individuals and entities tied to support for Hamas, Treasury can send a strong message to both governments that they need to get on board and sanction entities that are supporting terrorism or risk further isolation from America and our financial sector.’
The letter itself singles out key Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri, located in Turkey and who is believed to head Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank. To see the final, signed letter, please click here.
In August, the GMBDW was the first to report that that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers,, an event which sparked the most recent round of the Gaza conflict. In November, the GMBDW reported that Israel had arrested dozens of members of a Hamas terror network said to be funded and directed by Hamas officials in Turkey and led by Saleh al-Arouri.