CEP CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON HAMAS FINANCIERS, INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

(New York, N.Y.) — On Monday, Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace called on the U.S. Treasury Department to sanction the entirety of Hamas’ $500 million investment empire, following new U.S. designations against Hamas financiers at Turkish real estate investment firm Trend Gayrimenkul Yatirim Ortakligi A.S. (“Trend GYO”).  On Friday, Trend GYO principals Alaeddin Senguler, Gulsah Yigidoglu, and Arwa Mangoush were each sanctioned for having provided “financial, material, or technological support” to Hamas.

CEP wrote to Trend GYO on May 16, 2022, noting its role as a primary vehicle through which Hamas controls a vast portfolio of real estate. CEP expressed its alarm that one of the most senior officials in Hamas’s worldwide funding ventures, Hisham Yunis Ichiyeh Qafisheh – who has Palestianian, Jordanian and Turkish citizenship – also served on the Trend GYO Board. One week later, on May 24, the U.S. Treasury Dept. sanctionedTrend GYO and other entities responsible for administeringHamas’ Investment Office.  Hamas business operations are ultimately controlled by Hamas’s Shura Council and Executive Committee.

Ambassador Wallace stated:

“We applaud this most recent round of sanctions aimed at degrading Hamas’ financing. Hamas’ vast real estate empire is a major revenue stream and all the more troubling due to its ostensibly licit character. We urge all national jurisdictions, especially where Hamas is already sanctioned, to sanction Trend GYO. It is also critical to note that this Turkish entity is only one piece of the Hamas funding puzzle.”

Recent reporting reveals that Hamas leadership abroad has amassed a fortune of around $700 million, mostly housed in Hamas-controlled companies in Turkey, Qatar, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashal, and Abu Marzuk are each reportedly worth $3-4 billion.    

Haniyeh planned and celebrated the October 7 Israeli massacre from his safe harbor in Qatar.  That day, Hamas committed an atrocity of unparalleled savagery, surpassing even ISIS in its brutality – subjecting whole families, women, children, grandparents and babies to rape, torture and butchery. More than 1,400 persons were massacred, while Hamas currently holds some 222 hostages inside the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is variously subject to outright or partial bans, assets freezes, and other proscriptions in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, Paraguay, and the United Kingdom.

To read CEP’s May 16, 2022 letter to Trend GYO, click here.

To read CEP’s report on Hamas, click here.  

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