U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s, R-Fla., bill sanctioning Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their supporters passed the U.S. House this week.
Back in March, Mast paired up with the two leaders of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee–chairman U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, and top Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex.–and U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ, to introduce the “Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act” which “imposes sanctions on foreign persons, agencies and governments that assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or their affiliates.”
Mast’s office offered some insights as to why the sophomore congressman had brought out the proposal.
“Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are foreign terrorist organizations and specially designated by the United States government as global terrorists. Hamas is responsible for the death of more than 400 Israelis and at least 25 United States citizens. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has claimed credit for multiple terrorist attacks in Israel, including an attack that killed a New Jersey student,” Mast’s office noted.
After clearing the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month, Mast’s bill was before the full House which passed it on a voice vote.
“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,” Mast said on Tuesday. “These sanctions 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.”
More than forty members have lined up as cosponsors including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. However, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.