US Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday reintroduced the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad International Terrorism Support Prevention Act to impose sanctions on foreign individuals, entities, and governments that provide support to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and other Palestinian Arab terrorist groups.
The reintroduction of the bill follows the recent round of violence in Gaza in which hundreds of rockets were again fired at Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
“Israel has the right to defend itself from terrorist groups like Hamas,” said Senator Young. “I’m proud to support this legislation to cut off those in Iran and elsewhere who funnel support to their terrorist proxies in Gaza and the West Bank and send a clear message that the United States will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.”
“As these terrorist groups continue to show no regard for the people of Israel, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill, which seeks to impose sanctions against foreign nationals and governments that are actively providing material support to these groups. We must hold accountable the individuals who are aiding Hamas terrorists and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” said Senator Rubio.
Specifically, the bill would impose sanctions on foreign persons—or agencies of foreign states—that knowingly assist, sponsor, or provide significant support for the terrorist activities of Hamas or PIJ. Sanctions include asset freezes, denial of arms exports, denial of dual-use exports, prohibitions on major loans or financing from US financial institutions, and denial of Export-Import Bank support.
In addition to Senators Young and Rubio, Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Steve Daines (R-MT) are original cosponsors.
“Terrorist organizations threaten the existence of our greatest ally: the Jewish State of Israel. We must hold those aiding terrorists accountable with stiff sanctions,” said Senator Cassidy.
“Israel is facing unyielding attacks from Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. Rockets continue to rain down on innocent Israelis and America must make clear that we will always stand unapologetically with our great ally, Israel, and against all that wish it harm. I’m proud to support this legislation that strengthens our support for Israel with a strong show of force by imposing sanctions against individuals, entities and governments that fund some of the largest terrorist groups that attack Israel,” said Senator Scott.
“Our legislation will sanction those who support terrorism against Israel, while holding accountable those nations that do not take seriously the threats posed by Palestinian terrorist groups. Israel is one of America’s closest allies and deserves our support in countering these persistent threats to its security,” said Senator Hoeven.
“As Iran-backed terrorist groups continue to indiscriminately fire rockets in to Israel with the intent of killing civilians, the United States must do more to help our closest ally in the Middle East counter terrorist adversaries. That’s why I’m pleased to co-sponsor the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad International Terrorism Support Prevention Act, a critical bill to impose sanctions against foreign individuals and entities that financially support this terrorism,” said Senator Hagerty.
In January, Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) reintroduced a bipartisan bill which seeks to sanction all financial backers of Hamas.
The Hamas International Financing Prevention Act was passed by the previous Congress, as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act, but later removed by the Senate.