The European Union has sanctioned Abdelbasit Hamza, a Sudanese financier with strong ties to Hamas who was at the center of an investigation carried out by CNN with Israeli investigative platform Shomrim and the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) into the militant group’s funding.
The investigation exposed the wide range of business interests Hamza had managed to maintain in Europe, despite being placed under US sanctions in the wake of the October 7 attacks.
Hamza, who has previously denied any involvement in Hamas funding, is believed to have a network of global assets previously estimated by Sudanese anti-corruption officials to be over $2 billion.
In a press release Friday, the Council of the EU said it was putting into effect a newly approved sanctions regime which would allow it to “target those who support, materially or financially Hamas.”
“For the first time, the EU will also be able to target persons or entities providing support to those facilitating or enabling violent action by Hamas and the PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad); in other words, the sponsors of those who sponsor the two terrorist organizations,” the bloc said.
Hamza was one of six individuals, including senior Hamas financier Rida Ali Khamis and senior Hamas operative Musa Dudin, sanctioned on Friday. All six will be subjected to an asset freeze and a travel ban to the EU, according to the EU release.
The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the sanctioning of individuals such as Hamza shows that the bloc is “ready to take decisive steps to react to the brutality shown by terrorists on October 7.”