The United States has joined Israel in putting Ismail Haniyeh, former “prime minister” of the Gaza Strip and now head of Hamas, on its terror blacklist.
Hamas, the Islamist organization that is in charge of the Gaza Strip, has been considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States since 1997. On Wednesday, US authorities decided to put its political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, on its “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” list.
According to the State Department, people and organizations find themselves on this list if they 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.”
This designation freezes any US-based assets they may have and bans any American person or company from doing business with them, in order to deny them “the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks.”
Haniyeh is an extreme hardliner, serving as senior leader of the terror organization responsible for three wars with Israel in the last decade. Following President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he called for a new intifada and urged all Palestinian factions and all Muslim states to unite against the “US declaration of war.”
In a somewhat understated announcement regarding the newest additions to the US terrorism blacklist, the State Department said, “Haniyeh has close links with Hamas’ military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians. He has reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks.”
Since Hamas and Haniyeh took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, terrorists have fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians have died in the wars and terror attacks he has instigated, and hundreds have been injured, both physically and psychologically.
In addition to Haniyeh, on Wednesday the US also designated as foreign terrorist groups Harkaat al-Sabareen, an Iranian-backed organization in the Gaza Strip which broke from Islamic Jihad in May 2014; and two run from Egypt – Liwa al-Thura and Harakat Sawa’d Misr both offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood movement responsible for the murder of senior Egyptian officials as well as civilians in that country.