The Biden administration has rolled out some new sanctions on Hamas and other terrorist groups.
“Today’s action underscores the United States’ commitment to dismantling Hamas’s funding networks by deploying our counterterrorism sanctions authorities and working with our global partners to deny Hamas the ability to exploit the international financial system,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.
“We will not hesitate to take action to further degrade Hamas’s ability to commit horrific terrorist attacks by relentlessly targeting its financial activities and streams of funding,” he added.
Among the individuals targeted includes Khaled Qaddoumi, described as Hamas’s liaison to the Iranian government, as well as a number of Iranian military members who trained Hamas militants.
Also sanctioned was the Al-Ansar Charity Association, which the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said funds the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Hamas-affiliated militant group.
The Biden administration and Democrats have been reluctant to sanction the IRGC, these sanctions target some IRGC figures. And while this is good, Biden announced $100 million in aid to Gaza going through USAID. which, according to a statement by Samantha Power, will work with “our trusted UN, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Red Crescent partners are ready to distribute to those in need.”
The Red Crescent locally has a history of terror ties. There’s nothing trusted about it. Or the UN.
Rep. James and the House Oversight Committee are asking some tough questions.
In a letter to USAID administrator Samantha Power, Republicans on the oversight panel led by chair James Comer (R-Ky.) requested that by Nov. 7 the agency provide materials showing how it has assessed the risks that aid could be diverted.
“It is vital to fully account for U.S. funds intended for humanitarian purposes to ensure they do not directly or indirectly fund terrorism,” the GOP lawmakers wrote in the letter, which was first obtained by Axios.
Among the documents requested are any reports since 2020 detailing aid that was or could be diverted by terrorist groups and the assessments of a USAID body that oversees risk management.
That is crucial because, documents have revealed that the State Department knew already that it’s high risk.
In 2021, State Department officials warned that “there is a high risk Hamas could potentially derive indirect, unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza” and asked for a special exemption from sanctions on funding terrorists.
In 2022, Biden met with Palestinian Authority terror leader Mahmoud Abbas and boasted that, “I reversed the policies of my predecessor and resumed aid to the Palestinians — more than a half a billion dollars in 2021.”
Samantha Power and USAID aren’t denying that Hamas can benefit, only offering a toothless warning.
“We have been clear that any interference by Hamas will jeopardize the continuation of that life-saving assistance,” a USAID spokesperson told Axios.
Note the language carefully. Not ‘cut off’, “jeopardize”. What does jeopardize mean? Absolutely nothing. Biden has made it clear that Gaza aid is a priority. It’s not going to be cut off. Samantha Power offers no meaningful and clear consequences for cutting off the aid. And you can’t sanction Hamas and fund Hamas at the same time.
The real tell will be the information that Rep. Comer is searching for and the question of whether USAID to Gaza is still operating under a special terrorist funding exemption license.
If it is, that’s an admission that we’re still funding Hamas.