U.S. freezes additional assets tied to Hamas

Sunday, August 24, 2003

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 did not 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.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts
Search Worldwide Web Search Search WorldTrib Archives

See current edition of

Return to World Front Cover