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torsdag, november 9, 2023

EU balks at US, Israeli strain for brand new Hamas sanctions – POLITICO

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Israel and the US are piling strain onto the EU to impose new sanctions on Hamas within the wake of the October 7 assault on Israel by which some 1,400 individuals had been killed.

Some EU international locations are pushing again, with Portugal’s international minister telling POLITICO that new sanctions had been a “diversionary tactic” in comparison with the bigger query of statehood for Palestinians.

“This isn’t a central downside,” João Gomes Cravinho stated of the proposed sanctions. “All of us agreed that Hamas is a terrorist group [and that] Hamas has dedicated absolute atrocities.”

“The larger query of growing a Center East by which Hamas not exists, it is not going to be achieved by means of a mixture of army strikes and sanctions,” he added. “It has to come back about by means of the event of a settlement that gives the Palestinians with their very own state and with all of the traits of a state acknowledged by the worldwide neighborhood.”

Reflecting the Portuguese minister’s feedback, another diplomats stated the sensitivity of the Israel-Hamas conflict would make it arduous to safe unanimous backing for brand new sanctions — which is already listed as a terror group by the EU in addition to by the U.S. — whereas others claimed the EU lacks particular proof towards particular person Hamas leaders.

The diplomats, like others on this piece, had been granted anonymity to talk freely.

Within the wake of the October 7 bloodbath, the US has led the cost by imposing sanctions towards 10 key Hamas operatives in addition to a variety of “monetary facilitators” in neighboring international locations similar to Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and Qatar, in keeping with a assertion from the U.S. Treasury Division.

Japan rapidly adopted swimsuit, hitting 9 leaders in addition to an organization linked to Hamas.

Late final month, Wally Adeyemo, the U.S. deputy secretary to the U.S. Treasury, visited London, Brussels and Berlin to name for an growth of sanctions towards Hamas.

Requested if the EU would observe swimsuit, 5 EU diplomats stated they had been unaware of any such proposal from the European Fee, which is often accountable for proposing sanctions.

Pressed for particulars on the radio silence, diplomats provided differing explanations.

One stated that sanctioning particular person Hamas leaders required proof implicating them in terrorist exercise and that the EU lacked the intelligence functionality to collect the proof by itself — that means capitals must present it, and to this point it was not forthcoming.

An artillery unit strikes close to the Israeli northern border with Lebanon on November 8, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel | Amir Levy/Getty Photographs

One other diplomat pointed to the sensitivity of the Israel-Hamas conflict in some member international locations, which might make it arduous to search out unanimous help for the sanctions. The identical diplomat stated the Fee and the EEAS, the bloc’s diplomatic arm, would possibly need extra time to check the waters earlier than placing ahead a proper proposal.

Different officers have pointed to the truth that the EU has already listed Hamas as a terrorist group. The EU received a court docket case in 2021 permitting it to maintain Hamas on the European record of terror teams.

A European Fee spokesperson stated that as Hamas is already listed as a terror group by the EU, “making sources (together with funds) instantly or not directly out there to Hamas is already prohibited.”

The spokesperson was not capable of touch upon any attainable dialogue within the Council “resulting from their confidential nature.”

Israel’s ambassador to the EU pushed again on this argument, telling POLITICO that the present restrictions weren’t being correctly utilized and that additional sanctions had been wanted to penalize leaders and entities not lined at current.

“Hamas is already acknowledged by the EU as a terrorist group however we’d like a extra sturdy resolution to implement that,” Haim Regev stated. “We already begin discussing this in Europe and with the EU as nicely seeking to see what might be accomplished extra as a result of on the finish of the highway, it’s [Hamas] not solely a menace for Israel, it’s a menace for Europe.”

The push from Regev echoed strain from the US. A U.S. Treasury official stated they hadn’t encountered resistance from the EU on sanctions, however stated “I really feel like we have now to go sooner.”

“Pace issues, and the sooner that we act collectively, the sooner that we will reduce off their entry to the funding that they should conduct their violence, not simply in Israel however world wide,” the official added.

Elisa Braun and Bjarke Smith-Meyer contributed reporting.

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