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EU Blacklists Hamas Gaza Leader Yahya Sinwar Over October 7 Attacks

January 17, 2024
Yahya Sinwar

In a decisive move, the European Union (EU) added Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, to its terrorist sanctions blacklist on Tuesday. This action stems from Sinwar’s alleged involvement in the October 7 attacks on Israel.

The EU’s decision entails freezing Sinwar’s assets within the 27-nation bloc and prohibits EU citizens from engaging in transactions with him. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement, is already designated as a terrorist organization by the EU.

The October attacks deemed the worst in Israel’s history, resulted in approximately 1,140 deaths, predominantly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures. Additionally, militants abducted about 250 hostages, with 132 reportedly still in Gaza, including at least 25 believed to have been killed.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz welcomed the EU’s move, characterizing it as a result of diplomatic efforts to strangle Hamas’ resources, delegitimize the group, and prohibit support to them. Katz affirmed Israel’s commitment to addressing the root causes of conflict, stating, “We will continue to eradicate the root of evil, in Gaza and wherever it raises its head.”

Yahya Sinwar, 61, has not been seen since October 7, and the Israeli military previously declared him a “dead man walking” following the attacks. Sinwar was already on the U.S. list of the most wanted “international terrorists” since 2015.

The EU has grappled with a unified response to both the Hamas attacks and Israel’s subsequent offensive in the Gaza Strip. The complexities of the situation have led to divergent views within the EU, highlighting the challenges of formulating a cohesive stance.

The move to blacklist Sinwar reflects the EU’s ongoing efforts to address the aftermath of the October attacks and contribute to regional stability. As investigations continue, the geopolitical landscape remains dynamic, with implications for EU-Israel relations and the broader Middle East.


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