WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today attempted to bring his bill to sanction the financial backers of Hamas up for a vote on the House Floor, but House Democrats all voted against the sanctions bill. The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act is a bipartisan bill that passed the House of Representatives in 2019 unanimously. Today, 200 House Democrats who previously supported the bill switched their vote to oppose sanctioning the financial backers of Hamas.
“Hamas preaches the destruction of Israel and death to everything we hold dear in the United States. The recent attacks again show why we must cut off their financial support,” Rep. Mast said. “But today 200 House Democrats backtracked on their previous support for this bill, and in doing so sent a clear message to the world that they stand with Radical Islamic terrorists like Hamas instead of with our ally Israel.”
Last 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.