WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following recent attacks on Israel by Hamas, U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks (NY-5) urging that they expedite consideration of legislation introduced by Rep. Mast, The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021, which would sanction financial backers of Hamas.
“Radical Islamic terrorists – like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to reign terror on innocent people around the world. Hamas is single-handedly responsible for the deaths of numerous Americans and Israelis, and the recent attacks again show why this bill is so necessary,” Rep. Mast said. “These sanctions will send a strong message to anybody who supports these radicals preaching the destruction of Israel and death to everything we hold dear in the United States.”
The bill passed the House of Representatives in 2019 unanimously, but did not pass the Senate during the 116th Congress; therefore, the legislation needs to be passed by the House again. A copy of the letter that Rep. Mast sent to Speaker Pelosi and Chair Meeks is attached.
- The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act requires the President to submit to Congress an annual report for the next three years identifying foreign persons, agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign state who knowingly and materially assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or an affiliate or successor of one of those organizations.
- After identifying the organizations, the President must impose two or more sanctions, including denying a) Export-Import guarantees, b) defense support under the Arms Export Control Act, c) export of munitions to any agreement to which a person identified is a part, d) export of goods or technology controlled for national security reasons, e) loans more than $10 million, or f) seizure of property held within the United States.
- The bill also requires the President to report to Congress on each government that provides support for acts of terrorism and provides material support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any affiliate or successor organization, or the President determines to have engaged in a significant transaction to knowingly and materially provide support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any affiliate or successor organization.
- After identifying the governments, the President must suspend U.S. assistance to that government for one year, instruct the executive directors of each international finance institution to vote against any loan or technical assistance to that government and prohibit any munitions export to that government for one year.
- Additionally, the President must prohibit that government’s transactions in foreign exchanges that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and prevent that government’s transfers of credits or payments between financial institutions subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.