WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is among a bipartisan group of 34 Senators asking the United Nations (U.N.) to designate Iranian-backed Hamas as a terrorist organization and to impose sanctions on it.

The Senators argue in a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield that the lack of the terrorist organization designation and sanctions weakens efforts taken by the United States and other nations to inhibit the ability of Hamas to attack Israel and spread terrorism.

“Recent events have demonstrated that Hamas’ actions, tactics, and stated goals are in many ways indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations the United Nations has sanctioned. Therefore, we write to urge you to bring a resolution to the UN Security Council recognizing and imposing sanctions on Hamas as a terrorist organization,” the Senators wrote. “Hamas’ reign of terror is not just an Israeli problem, but one that impacts us all.”

Despite U.N. inaction, the U.S. Treasury Department has designated Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as Foreign Terrorist Organizations since 1997.  These groups have been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists since October 2001.  Numerous other countries and international entities rightfully have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Israel, Paraguay, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Organization of American States.

“The absence of U.N. sanctions on Hamas is a glaring loophole, circumventing US financial controls, such as the rigorous standards set by the U.S. Department of Treasury, potentially allowing Hamas to evade U.S. sanctions.  Furthermore, the lack of U.N. sanctions on Hamas enables them to bolster their capabilities by exploiting international financial channels, including accessing financial systems and soliciting donations from charities,” the Senator explained.  “We are also concerned that a lack of U.N. sanctions enables Hamas to divert humanitarian aid for malicious intent, which deprives innocent Palestinian civilians of crucial assistance while simultaneously strengthening offensive capabilities used to attack Israel.”

The letter was led by U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), the co-chairs and cofounders of the Abraham Accords Caucus and Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism.  In addition to Hyde-Smith, it was also signed by U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Thom Tills (R-N.C.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-Wyo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Ted Budd (R-N.C.).

Read the signed letter here