EU adds two top Hamas commanders to ‘terrorist blacklist’

BRUSSELS (AFP) : The European Union on Friday added two of Hamas’s top military commanders to its terrorist blacklist, linking them directly to the October 7 attacks on Israel.

Brussels said Mohammed Deif, 58-year-old commander general of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and his deputy Marwan Issa had been added to its sanctions list.

“The two individuals are subject to the freezing of their funds and other financial assets in EU member states,” it said.

“It is also prohibited for EU operators to make funds and economic resources available to them.”

The statement, issued by the European Council, said the listing came in “response to the threat posed by Hamas and its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023.”

On October 7, Hamas fighters broke out of the Palestinian territory of Gaza and launched unprecedented attacks on Israeli troops and civilians.

Around 1,200 Israelis were killed and scores taken hostage.

Israel responded by launching air and artillery strikes against Gaza and a military ground operation hunting for Hamas militants.

Weeks of fighting have left 17,177 people dead in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the latest toll.