US, EU Impose New Sanctions on Hamas

A 12 April 2024 view of the remains of the Gaza municipality park in the Remal neighborhood after it was blown up by the Israeli army in October 2023, on 07 October 2023.  EPA/MOHAMED HAJJAR
A 12 April 2024 view of the remains of the Gaza municipality park in the Remal neighborhood after it was blown up by the Israeli army in October 2023, on 07 October 2023. EPA/MOHAMED HAJJAR
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US, EU Impose New Sanctions on Hamas

A 12 April 2024 view of the remains of the Gaza municipality park in the Remal neighborhood after it was blown up by the Israeli army in October 2023, on 07 October 2023.  EPA/MOHAMED HAJJAR
A 12 April 2024 view of the remains of the Gaza municipality park in the Remal neighborhood after it was blown up by the Israeli army in October 2023, on 07 October 2023. EPA/MOHAMED HAJJAR

The US Treasury Department said on Friday it imposed sanctions on four Hamas members based in Gaza, including Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (al-Qassam Brigades).

The Department said the action, taken by its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), disrupted Hamas’ ability to conduct further attacks, including through cyber warfare and the production of UAVs.

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

“Treasury, in coordination with our allies and partners, will continue to target Hamas’ facilitation networks wherever they operate, including in the cyber domain,” Brian Nelson, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and Financial intelligence said, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles.

The US sanctions targeted Hudhayfa Samir ‘Abdallah al-Kahlut (al-Kahlut) also known as “Abu Ubaida” who has been the spokesman for 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, Baraa Hasan Farhat (Farhat) assistant to Abu Shanab, the commander of the al-Shimali unit, and Khalil Muhammad Azzam (Azzam), an intelligence official.

Meanwhile in Brussels, the EU on Friday imposed sanctions on the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad for “widespread” sexual violence during the October 7 attacks on Israel, according to AFP.

The bloc said fighters from the two Palestinian groups -- already on the EU's terrorism blacklist – “committed widespread sexual and gender-based violence in a systematic manner, using it as a weapon of war.”

The decision to impose the sanctions was part of an agreement among EU states that will now see the bloc blacklist violent Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

Hamas's unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli figures, and unleashed the war in Gaza.

The EU said that the abuses by Hamas fighters included "the rape and subsequent murder of female minors, mutilation of corpses as well as genital mutilation.”

It also accused the assailants of the “targeted abduction of women and girls.”



US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
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US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)

A part of the US military's pier off Gaza has broken off, rendering it temporarily inoperable, two US officials said, in the latest blow to efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said bad weather was believed to be the reason that the part had broken off. They did not say how big the part was or speculate on how long it would take for the pier to resume operations.

The pier was announced by US President Joe Biden in March and involved the military assembling the floating structure off the coast. Estimated to cost $320 million for the first 90 days and involve about 1,000 US service members, it went into operation two weeks ago.

Since the pier began operations, the United Nations has transported 137 trucks of aid from the pier - the equivalent of 900 metric tons - said a UN World Food Program (WFP) spokesperson.