Israel for the first time on Tuesday imposed personal economic sanctions on a terrorist. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett signed an order imposing the sanctions on a terrorist living in the United Kingdom, working on behalf of Hamas, in what Bennett called a “targeted economic killing.”
The terrorist, Mahmad Jamal Harash, was deported to Lebanon in 1992, and currently lives in the U.K. He is head of a group called Arab Human Rights League of Britain, which has been identified as a terror funding group that raises money for Hamas in the U.K. Under the sanctions, all assets of Harash in Israel are frozen, and he is unable to access them. The order could potentially affect Harash’s assets abroad; banks and financial institutions that do business with him could be fined if they do business with Israel. The intention is to persuade banks abroad to force Harash to remove his accounts with them.
The Defense Ministry said that Tuesday’s sanctions were the first of many to come. The ministry has a long list of terrorists it intends to act against. All those who are to be sanctioned will be included in a list that will be publicly available, so that local and international financial institutions can make informed decisions about whether or not to do business with them.
“This is the first time we have done something like this in Israel to battle the funding of terror, and it is the first of many such orders that will be signed by the defense minister in the weeks to come,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “Dozens of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists will thus be ‘marked,’ enabling everyone to know with whom to avoid doing business.”