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The United States has announced sanctions against key figures within Hamas for their involvement in cyber and drone operations.

The Treasury Department, specifically through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), targeted individuals based in Gaza and Lebanon who manage these sectors for the group. This move aligns with broader efforts to disrupt Hamas’s capacities for cyber warfare and the production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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Among those sanctioned is Hudhayfa Samir’ Abdallah al-Kahlut, also known as Abu Ubaida, who has served as the spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing in Gaza since 2007. Al-Kahlut also heads the cyber influence department and has been implicated in collaborating with Iranian institutions to maintain Hamas’s online presence. Additionally, the US has targeted William Abu Shanab, commander of the Lebanon-based al-Shumali unit, along with his assistant Bara’a Hasan Farhat and intelligence official Khalil Muhammad’ Azzam.

Brian Nelson, the undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, emphasized the significance of these sanctions. “Today’s joint action reinforces our continued, collective focus on disrupting Hamas’s ability to conduct further attacks, including through cyber warfare and the production of UAVs,” he stated. The US strategy involves close coordination with international allies and partners to tackle Hamas’s operational networks across various domains.

As a result of these sanctions, any property and interests in the property of the designated individuals that are located in the United States or controlled by US persons are now frozen and must be reported to OFAC.


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