Josep Borrell
Josep BorrellReuters

The European Council on Friday established a dedicated framework of restrictive measures that will allow the European Union to hold accountable any individual or entity who supports, facilitates or enables violent actions by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

"With today's decision of a dedicated framework of restrictive measures against supporters of violent actions by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the European Union shows that we are ready to take decisive steps to react to the brutality shown by terrorists on October 7. Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in a just, lasting, and secure peace," said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

According to the Council, the decision was made "in view of the gravity of the recent attacks against Israel and the need to fight against violent actions that threaten peace and international security, and aims at preventing such violent actions by Hamas and PIJ in the future."

The new regime also complements the restrictive measures previously adopted against Hamas and the PIJ under Common Position 2001/931/CFSP (the ‘EU terrorist list’), the Council said.

Under the new regime, the EU may target those who support, materially or financially, Hamas or the PIJ. It may also target those who participate in the planning, preparation or enabling of violent actions by Hamas or the PIJ. Persons, groups, entities, and bodies could also be listed for activities such as: supplying, selling, or transferring arms and related materiel to the two terrorist organizations; supporting actions which undermine or threaten the stability or security of Israel in conjunction with Hamas and the PIJ; being involved in serious violations of international humanitarian law or human rights law; inciting or publicly provoking violent actions of the two organisations.

In addition, for the first time, the EU will also be able to target persons or entities providing support to those facilitating or enabling violent action by Hamas and the PIJ; in other words, the sponsors of those who sponsor the two terrorist organizations.

In addition, on Friday the Council also decided to list six individuals of different nationalities responsible for providing financial support to Hamas. Included are Sudan-based financier Abdelbasit Hamza Elhassan Mohamed Khair; owner of 'Shuman for Currency Exchange SARL' Nabil Chouman; the former's son Khaled Chouman; senior Hamas financier Rida Ali Khamis; senior Hamas operative Musa Dudin; and Algeria-based financier Aiman Ahmad Al Duwaik.

Those listed under the sanctions regime are subject to an asset freeze. The provision of funds or economic resources, directly or indirectly, to them or for their benefit is prohibited. Additionally, a travel ban to the EU applies to the natural persons listed.

The new sanctions framework will be in force for five years - until 19 January 2025. It will be kept under constant review and renewed or amended as appropriate, if the Council deems that its objectives have not been met.