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US sanctions target Hamas spokesperson, drone program leaders

1 min

The United States on Friday issued sanctions aimed at a Hamas spokesperson and leaders of the group's drone unit, the Treasury Department said.

Abu Ubaida, the spokesman of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, gestures as he speaks during an anti-Israel military show in the southern Gaza Strip November 11, 2019. Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The United States on Friday issued sanctions aimed at a Hamas spokesperson and leaders of the group's drone unit, the Treasury Department said.

The European Union is simultaneously imposing sanctions targeting Hamas, the department said in a statement.

The U.S. sanctions targeted Hudhayfa Samir ‘Abdallah al-Kahlut (al-Kahlut) also known as “Abu Ubaida” who has been the spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (al-Qassam Brigades), the military wing of Hamas in Gaza, since at least 2007, the department said.

The sanctions also targeted William Abu Shanab (Abu Shanab), commander of the Lebanon-based al-Shimali unit, Bara’a Hasan Farhat (Farhat) assistant to Abu Shanab, the commander of the al-Shimali unit, and Khalil Muhammad ‘Azzam (‘Azzam), an intelligence official.

“Today’s joint action reinforces our continued, collective focus on disrupting Hamas’s ability to conduct further attacks, including through cyber warfare and the production of UAVs,”

Brian Nelson, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and Financial intelligence said, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Treasury, in coordination with our allies and partners, will continue to target Hamas’s facilitation networks wherever they operate, including in the cyber domain," he said.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the designated people that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Reporting by Paul Grant

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