The Department of State is designating Akram al-Ajouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Ajouri is the PIJ Deputy Secretary General and leader of its militant wing, the Al-Quds Brigade.
Washington: The US State Department on Tuesday (local time) labelled Akram al-Ajouri, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s militant wing, as a specially designated global terrorist. The US Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on “key Hamas officials and the mechanisms by which Iran provides support to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).”
“The Department of State is designating Akram al-Ajouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Ajouri is the PIJ Deputy Secretary General and leader of its militant wing, the Al-Quds Brigade. The Department of the Treasury is also designating seven individuals and two entities that have provided support to or acted on behalf of Hamas or PIJ,” the US Department of States said in a statement.
Tuesday’s actions were the latest penal measures taken in response to the October 7 Hamas attack against Israel, and both the designation and sanctions are intended to imped individuals’ and organisations’ access to resources and funding, according to CNN.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that Al-Ajouri also serves as PIJ Deputy Secretary General.
A separate statement by the US Treasury stated that he “coordinated the militant training and recruitment operations for PIJ in Gaza, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, and Yemen.”
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Mahmoud Khaled Zahhar, “a senior member and co-founder of Hamas who has worked closely with Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.”
“Zahhar has spoken publicly on behalf of Hamas, including in formal interviews, to threaten violence against Jewish civilians and emphasise its commitment to the destruction of Israel,” the Treasury Department said in a news release, adding, “As a Hamas representative, Zahhar has also acknowledged and thanked Iran for its support of Hamas.”
Another individual, Mu’ad Ibrahim Muhammed Rashid al-Atili, was also sanctioned on Tuesday “for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hamas,” according to CNN. The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on PIJ Representative to Iran Nasser Abu Sharif, the Muhjat AlQuds Foundation, “a PIJ-run, Iran-funded organisation whose primary mission is to provide financial support to the families of PIJ fighters and prisoners,” and the foundation’s leader, Jamil Yusuf Ahmad ‘Aliyan.
It has also sanctioned the Lebanon-based money exchange company Nabil Chouman & Co, which, according to the department, Hamas uses to transfer money from Iran to Gaza, as well as its founder, Nabil Khaled Halil Chouman, his son Khaled Chouman and another Lebanon-based money exchanger, Reda Ali Khamis.
“For several years, the company has served as a conduit for transferring funds to Hamas, transferring tens of millions of dollars to the terrorist organisation,” CNN reported the Treasury Department as saying.