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EU adds Hamas political leader Yahya Sinwar to terrorist list

Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, greets his supporters upon his arrival at a meeting in a hall on the sea side of Gaza City, on April 30, 2022.
Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, greets his supporters upon his arrival at a meeting in a hall on the sea side of Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. Copyright Adel Hana/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Adel Hana/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Mared Gwyn Jones
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European Union member states added Hamas political leader Yahya Sinwar to the EU's terrorist list on Tuesday.

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The move allows the bloc to freeze Sinwar's funds and other financial assets in EU member states, and to prohibit EU-based operators from making economic resources available to him.

Considered to be one of the main inter-connecting figures between Hamas' political and military wings, Sinwar - a Gazan - was elected commander of the organisation's armed forces and overall leader in Gaza in 2017.

He was previously arrested by Israel on multiple occasions, and eventually released as part of a prisoner exchange in 2011. 

He was added to the United States' terrorism list in 2015.

Sinwar is reported to have been involved in the deadly October 7 attack that provoked the ongoing war with Israel. The UK targeted him in a package of sanctions last December, along with other Hamas senior leaders.

Hamas is designated a terrorist organisation by the EU and other Western allies.

Sinwar becomes the third senior Hamas leader to be personally sanctioned by the EU since the eruption of conflict in the Middle East in October.

On December 8, EU member states also designated Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, senior commanders of Hamas' military wing, the Birgades Ezzedin al-Qassam, as terrorists.

The sanctions aim to stifle Hamas' financial resources and prevent its militants from orchestrating further attacks.

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