RELEASE: Gottheimer, Mast Introduce Bipartisan Hamas International Financing Prevention Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Brian Mast (FL-18) formally introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R.3685, the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, to impose financial sanctions on foreign persons, agencies, and governments that assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or their affiliates. This new bipartisan bill now has more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors.

Terrorists in Gaza, including Hamas, recently fired more than 4,500 rockets at civilians in Israel and the West Bank during just 11 days, killing both Israelis and Palestinians. 

Recent reporting revealed a surge in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas since the start of the conflict, circumventing international sanctions.

"Last month, the terrorist group Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel while using Gazans, including women and children, as human shields. It is critical that the United States and our allies continue to isolate terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad by cutting them off at the source," said Congressman Gottheimer, the Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security. "This bill will strengthen sanctions to weaken these terrorist groups that threaten our ally Israel, undermine peace, and further destabilize the Middle East. Last Congress, the House passed a previous version of this legislation which also contains important humanitarian considerations. I hope Congress will come together to pass the bipartisan Hamas International Financing Prevention Act so it can be signed into law.”  

“Following my service in the Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy and mutual respect for all people. Hamas preaches destruction to Israel and death to the values we hold dear in the United States,” Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) said. “The United States must not tolerate anybody who provides support to these radical Islamic terrorists.”

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) and specially designated by the United States government as global terrorists. Hamas is responsible for the death of more than 400 Israelis and at least 25 United States citizens. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has claimed credit for multiple terrorist attacks in Israel, including an attack that killed a New Jersey student.  

Similar bipartisan legislation passed the House of Representatives last Congress, and Gottheimer remains eager to build on this momentum and work with the U.S. Senate to get it signed into law this Congress.

BACKGROUND

The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act requires the President to submit to Congress an annual report for the next three years identifying foreign persons, agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign state who knowingly and materially assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or an affiliate or successor of one of those organizations. After identifying the organizations, the President must impose two or more sanctions, including denying a) Export-Import guarantees, b) defense support under the Arms Export Control Act, c) export of munitions to any agreement to which a person identified is a part, d) export of goods or technology controlled for national security reasons, e) loans more than $10 million, or f) seizure of property held within the United States.

The bill also requires the President to report to Congress on each government that provides support for acts of terrorism and provides material support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any affiliate or successor organization, or the President determines to have engaged in a significant transaction to knowingly and materially provide support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any affiliate or successor organization. After identifying the governments, the President must suspend U.S. assistance to that government for one year, instruct the executive directors of each international finance institution to vote against any loan or technical assistance to that government and prohibit any munitions export to that government for one year. Additionally, the President must prohibit that government’s transactions in foreign exchanges that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and prevent that government’s transfers of credits or payments between financial institutions subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

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