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Turkey-based Hamas members among those hit by US sanctions

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The US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions on 10 key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives and financial facilitators, some of whom are based in Turkey as well as in Gaza, Sudan, Algeria and Qatar.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement on Wednesday that Amer Kamal Sharif Alshawa and Ahmed Sadu Jahleb are part of Hamas’s investment network in Turkey who were hit by its sanctions.

Alshawa is the chief executive officer of Trend GYO and has served as a board member on several Hamas investment portfolio companies, while Jahleb serves as the Hamas investment portfolio secretary and coordinates various activities for Hamas-controlled companies and Hamas officials.

Algeria-based Aiman Ahmad Al-Duwaik is a senior Hamas investment portfolio manager who, along with Turkey-based Jadallah, also serves on the boards of several investment portfolio companies, according to OFAC’s statement.

The US sanctions on Hamas members and operatives came in the wake of an unprecedented surprise attack by Hamas in Israel on Oct. 7 that claimed more than 1,300 lives and sparked retaliatory strikes from Israel on Gaza, which led to the death of more than 3,000 civilians.

Alshawa, Jahleb and Al-Duwaik are being designated as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hamas.

As part of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the designated persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Relations between Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Hamas have once again come under the spotlight following the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

Turkey does not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization. AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hosted members of Hamas many times over the years, and the country is known as a safe haven for Hamas operatives.

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