December 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S., UK Impose New Sanctions on Hamas Finance Officials and Representatives

December 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S., UK Impose New Sanctions on Hamas Finance Officials and Representatives

Latest Developments

The United States and the United Kingdom on December 13 jointly sanctioned eight Hamas finance officials and representatives for advancing the group’s violent agenda. The targets include three Turkey-based Hamas operatives, reflecting Ankara’s longstanding role in harboring Hamas’s leadership and facilitating their malign conduct. “Hamas continues to rely heavily on networks of well-placed officials and affiliates, exploiting seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for the group’s benefit and funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas is an international terrorist organization. This tranche of Treasury sanctions only underscores this. But of particular note is the Hamas presence in Turkey. This is a NATO member country that has allowed Hamas to operate a headquarters in Istanbul for more than a decade. This cannot be tolerated by Washington or NATO any longer. Sanctions against the government in Ankara should come next. Turkish banks should be disconnected from the U.S.-led financial system. Turkey might even be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. No option should be taken off the table at this point.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“These sanctions target some of the so-called political leadership of Hamas, who have been raising money for terrorism. These designations serve as clear evidence that there is no discernible separation between Hamas’s so-called political and military hierarchy. They function as an interconnected entity, offering unwavering support to one another.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas’s Operatives in Turkey

The targets of the sanctions include Turkey-based Haroun Mansour Yaqoub Nasser Al-Din, the head of Hamas’s Jerusalem office and “one of Hamas’s key financial operatives” in Turkey, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Another target, Jihad Muhammad Shaker Yaghmour, serves as Hamas’s official representative to Turkey and is “involved in handling covert terrorist activities for the group,” Treasury stated. A third Turkey-based operative, Mehmet Kaya, “has been involved in multiple money transfers on behalf of Hamas over several years, ultimately providing tens of millions of dollars of financial services for Hamas.”

The Hamas-Turkey Relationship

Hamas receives significant funding, materiel, and political support from Turkey. Following Hamas’s October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Hamas is not a terrorist organization” but “a liberation group, ‘mujahideen’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people.” In 2017, Erdogan directly quoted verses from Hamas’s founding charter calling for the destruction of Israel. The next year, he publicly accused Israel of carrying out a “cultural genocide” and claimed Israeli policy was “no less grave than the oppression done to the Jews during WWII.” Erdogan’s worldview is shaped by the National Outlook Movement, the founding movement of political Islam in Turkey, which harbors deep anti-Western and antisemitic beliefs.

Other U.S. and UK Targets

In addition to the Turkey-based Hamas operatives, the United States and the United Kingdom sanctioned Gaza-based Ismail Musa Ahmad Barhum, a member of the Gaza Strip Political Bureau; Gaza-based Nizar Mohammed Awadallah, a Hamas board member and part of Hamas’s Political Bureau; Lebanon-based Ali Abed Al Rahman Baraka, the head of Hamas’s National Relations Abroad; Lebanon-based Maher Rebhi Obeid, a senior Hamas political leader who previously served as a militant commander of Hamas in the West Bank; and Bethlehem-based Hassan Al-Wardian, a senior Hamas official.

10 Things to Know About Hamas and Turkey,” FDD Insight

Targeting Jihad Yaghmour and the Hamas operation in Turkey,” by Sinan Ciddi and Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey Actively Supports Hamas, Refuses to Condemn Massacre,” by Sinan Ciddi


Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics Sanctions and Illicit Finance Turkey