Terrorist Designations of Yahya Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Muhammed Deif
Office of the Spokesperson
September 8, 2015
The Department of State has designated Yahya Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Muhammed Deif as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with Yahya Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Muhammed Deif, and the freezing of all property and interests of Sinwar, Mushtaha, and Deif that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons.
Yahya Sinwar is a Hamas operative known for his role in founding the forerunner of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and SDGT. He was arrested by Israel in 1988 for his terrorist activity. Sinwar was later released from prison in 2011 as part of a prisoner swap for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Sinwar was serving four life sentences for the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers in the late 1980s. He is considered to be one of the most senior and prominent prisoners to be exchanged, and has called on militants to capture more Israeli soldiers.
Rawhi Mushtaha is a Hamas operative known for his role in founding the forerunner of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. He was arrested by Israel in 1988 for his terrorist activity, but was released from prison in 2011 as part of a prisoner swap for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Mushtaha was serving four life sentences for murder and acts of terrorism. In 2015, Mushtaha also publicly called on Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades to kidnap more Israeli citizens in order to strike more prisoner exchange deals to free Hamas members.
Muhammed Deif is the top commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. He is known for deploying suicide bombers and directing the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. During the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, Deif was the mastermind of Hamas’s offensive strategy.
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