US Is Weighing Added Sanctions on Hamas, Yellen Says

(Bloomberg) -- The US is weighing additional sanctions on Hamas as part of efforts to constrain the militant group’s ability to access money following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that now threatens to spark a regional war, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

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“We are certainly looking at further opportunities we see,” Yellen said in an event at Bloomberg’s Washington office on Thursday. “We’re all over this and are likely to do more.”

Yellen declined to comment on specific measures but said the US has taken several steps over the last year to cut Hamas’s ability to access money. She said that Treasury officials are traveling this week to work with European and Middle East allies and look for new ways to target the group, which has been under severe sanctions since the US designated it a terrorist organization in 1997.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo is scheduled to travel to Europe, while Treasury undersecretary Brian Nelson is visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Last week, Treasury sanctioned several individuals associated with Hamas’s investment portfolio as well as two senior leaders following the attack on Israel that killed some 1,400 people. But the total number of sanctions on the militant group is fewer than 150, reflecting the challenges of finding additional targets.

Slim Roster of Hamas Sanctions Reflects Challenge: Five Charts

Yellen also said that Iran has touched “not a penny” of the $6 billion in oil sales revenue being held in a Qatari account, a rejection of Republican criticism of the Biden administration for a deal in September that let Iran spend the money on food and medicine in tandem with a prisoner swap.

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