US State Department Designates Senior Hamas Official As Global Terrorist

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The US State Department has announced that it has designated senior Hamas official Fathi Ahmad Mohammad Hammad as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. According to the announcement:

September 16, 2016 The Department of State has designated Fathi Ahmad Mohammad Hammad as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Hammad has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Hammad.

As a senior Hamas official, Hammad has engaged in terrorist activity for Hamas, a U.S. State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT. Hammad served as Hamas’s Interior Minister where he was responsible for security within Gaza, a position he used to coordinate terrorist cells. Hammad established Al-Aqsa TV, which is a primary Hamas media outlet with programs designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood. Al-Aqsa TV was designated in March 2010 by the Department of the Treasury under E.O. 13224.

The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is a powerful tool. Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Hammad is actively engaged in terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.

Reuters  reported additional details o Hammad:

…Fathi Ahmad Mohammad Hammad, is a former Hamas interior minister, a position he used to coordinate terrorist cells, the department said in a separate statement.

Hammad is a member of the political leadership of Hamas, an Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2007. Israel in 2005 withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza, which it had seized along with the West Bank in a 1967 war.

In a statement issued in Gaza, Hammad said the decision to list him as a terrorist came hours after Washington announced $38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next decade, a step that he said made the United States “the biggest supporter of Zionist terrorism.”

“Such decisions that are biased in favor of the occupation represent a new black chapter in the record of the … American administration,” he said.

The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations.  A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.

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