WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following recent attacks on Israel by Hamas, U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) issued the following statement after the Foreign Affairs Committee decided not to schedule a vote during next week’s committee markup on legislation to sanction financial backers of Hamas:
"It's a dark day in our nation's history when Democrat leadership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee seemingly sides with Hamas over our ally Israel. My bill to sanction financial supporters of Hamas passed unanimously last Congress, but under the control of new Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, the bill has been sent to legislative purgatory," Rep. Mast said. "Hamas's recent attacks on Israel again show why this bill is so necessary. These sanctions are needed to send a strong message the United States will not tolerate anybody who supports these radical Islamic terrorists."
Earlier this week, Rep. Mast sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks (NY-5) urging them to expedite consideration of The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021. This request has been ignored, despite Hamas’s ongoing attacks on Israel.
- 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.