Israel sanctions 20 companies/individuals allegedly linked to Hamas financial network

Israel on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 20 companies and individuals operating across the Middle East that it claims are involved in financing the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The sanctions are directed against what the Defense Ministry described as an international network operating “under the guise of legitimate companies” in Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates.

This comes as the U.S. announced sanctions against many of the same entities in May. Israel and the U.S. say they are part of a Hamas-run financial network with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

These primarily real estate and infrastructure projects operate in Sudan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, the statement said, adding that local authorities and financial institutions were unaware Hamas was behind the companies.

The Islamic militant group has carried out scores of deadly attacks against Israelis over the years, and it seized control of Gaza from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority 15 years ago. Israel and Western countries consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

“We will continue to thwart Hamas’ attempts to funnel funds intended for the terrorist organization’s force buildup,” Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement.

Image Credit: Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)