Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday signed an executive order which restricts the economic activity of terrorist operatives around the world, the first such order signed in Israel.
The first Israeli order targeting terrorists’ personal finances took aim at Mohammed Jamil Mahmoud Hersh, a former Hamas activist who was deported to Lebanon in 1992 and now resides in the United Kingdom. Hersh heads the Arab Human Rights Organization in the UK (AHROUK), designated by Israel’s Defense Ministry as a terrorist organization. According to the ministry, AHROUK acts as a branch of the Hamas terror organization in the UK.
Any individual who has financial transactions with Hersh or gains control of his assets is ordered to report the occurrence to the Israeli police. The administrative order is in effect until the year 2021.
The directive places a limit on the ability of terrorist activists to use their assets and carry out their personal financial affairs, as well as those of the terrorist organization they belong to, both in Israel and abroad.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the financial restrictions are expected to serve as an effective deterrent and that Israel intends to intensify its non-military efforts to thwart Islamic terror worldwide.
“This is the first time a mechanism such as this will be used in Israel in the war against terror financing. This is the first of many orders to be signed by the defense minister in the near future. The individuals targeted in the orders will be listed publicly so that Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists will be ‘marked’ around the world,” the statement read.
The order was issued after lengthy discussions on the matter with the National Bureau of Economic Counter-Terrorism, the Defense Establishment Legal Advisor, the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) and other security bodies.
The US regularly levels financial sanctions against individuals who are involved in terrorism or other threatening activity.
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