US adds Hamas leader to list of global terrorists

US government imposes sanctions on terror leader Ismail Haniyeh. Secretary of State: 'An important step in denying resources for terror.'

Tal Polon ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

The US has added Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to its list of global terrorists.

The Treasury Department website added today, Wednesday, to its list of “Specially Designated Nationals” Haniyeh, who heads Hamas’ Central Council, as well as terror groups Harakat Al-Sabireen, which operates out of Gaza and Judea and Samaria, and the Egyptian groups Hasm and Liwa Al-Thawra.

Those persons and entities included on the list face sanctions from the US. Assets they have which are under US jurisdiction will be frozen. US citizens are prohibited from dealing with them, and international entities may also face punishment from the US for doing so.

A statement released by the State Department said that Haniyeh has "reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” noting that "Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the sanctions aim to curb the activities of "key terrorist groups and leaders - including two sponsored and directed by Iran - who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel."

"Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.”