The Bush administration has ordered a freeze on
additional Hamas-related assets.
President George Bush has ordered the Treasury Department to block and
freeze the assets of six top Hamas leaders and five non-governmental groups
that he said have provided financial assistance to Hamas. The move came
after Hamas claimed responsibility for the bus bombing in Jerusalem on Aug. 19.
A White House statement said Bush designated the Hamas leadership and
its funding from European sources under Executive Order 13224. The order
calls for a freeze of and block on assets.
U.S. officials said they hope the administration will obtain cooperation
from European states for the freeze on organizations that support Hamas. The
European Union has not deemed Hamas's political wing as a terrorist entity, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Bush administration decided to freeze any assets in the United
States of Hamas leader
Ahmed Yassin and his No. 2 Abdul Aziz Rentisi but U.S. officials said they
believe either man held assets in the United States.
"At my direction, the Treasury Department has moved today to block and
freeze the assets of six top Hamas leaders and five non-governmental
organizations that I am advised provide financial support to Hamas," Bush
said. "By claiming responsibility for the despicable act of terror on August
19, Hamas has reaffirmed that it is a terrorist organization committed to
violence against Israelis and to undermining progress toward peace between
Israel and the Palestinian people."
Others on the list of U.S. list were Hamas politburo chief Khaled
Masha'al, Mussa Abu Marzouk, Osama Hamdan and Imad Alami. Masha'al is head
of Hamas's political bureau and the others are politburo members or senior
Hamas representatives in Beirut or Damascus.
The Treasury Department named the European charities that aid Hamas as
France's Committee for Welfare and Relief in Palestine,
Switzerland's Palestine Relief Association, Britain's Palestine
Relief and Development Fund, Austria's Palestinian Association and Lebanon's
Sanabil Association for Relief and Development. Khalid Al Shuli is
president of the French and Swiss organizations.