The Israeli government will allow the freeze of the assets of the country’s leading terror organization, Hamas, the country said Monday, in a move that will benefit the terrorist group’s coffers.
The freeze of assets in the wake of the July 15, 2017, attack on a West Bank settlement is the first step in the process of transferring the property to the state, which will transfer it to the Palestinian Authority, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.
It also means that Hamas will no longer be able to use the property as a weapons training facility, the statement said.
In a separate announcement, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the freezing of the terror group’s assets is an immediate priority.
It said the freeze is necessary because of the terrorist organization’s financial, operational and operational capabilities, as well as the terror organization’s continuing operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
“In the coming days, the government will begin to transfer the property and will also continue to work on its plans for the transfer of the property,” the statement read.
The government has frozen the assets in recent years, following the 2014 military takeover of Gaza by Hamas.
Since then, Hamas has been using the property for its terror activities, including rocket launching, the IDF said.
Since the IDF seized control of Gaza, it has taken control of the Gaza border crossing with Egypt and launched attacks on Israeli troops in the West and East Gaza Strip.
Hamas militants have been accused of targeting Israeli civilians and soldiers, including Israeli policemen and soldiers.
In the past, the Gaza-based terror group has targeted Israeli citizens and government buildings in Israel and the occupied West Bank, including the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the Golan Heights.
Israel has accused Hamas of committing crimes against the state.
The group has also been blamed for a wave of rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in the past.
In June, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution that condemned Hamas for “continuing its activities and activities in the occupied territories in order to expand its capabilities, which are aimed at destroying Israel and imposing its will on the region.”
It also demanded that Israel and all parties to the conflict “immediately cease and desist from the continued attacks against the civilians in Gaza, targeting Israeli citizens, and the continuation of their activities against civilians in occupied territories.”
Last month, the Israel Defense Forces raided the home of the head of Hamas’ political bureau in the southern Gaza Strip, the same home in which the IDF raids have been conducted.
The raid was in response to a complaint from Hamas’ military wing, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the group said.
The IDF has said it carries out the raids in response for alleged Hamas activity in the area.
The raids targeted the homes of two Hamas officials, one of whom had been charged with espionage and theft and the other for being a member of the military wing of the group, the army said.
Earlier this year, Hamas fired several rockets at southern Israel, but the rockets fell in open areas and were not intercepted.
Israel on Sunday closed its border with Gaza, which has been under an Israeli military blockade since 2008, in an effort to stop the smuggling of weapons, ammunition and other material into the territory.
The closures are a direct response to Hamas rocket attacks into Israel and Israel’s use of the closure to prevent weapons and other materials from entering the occupied Palestinian territory.
In addition, Israel has tightened its blockade on Gaza, including on Gaza’s northern border, in order not to allow Hamas to use tunnels to infiltrate the territory, which Israel says are used for rocket fire into Israel.
In response to the closure, Israel imposed a blockade on a section of the border with the Gaza strip.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will increase the amount of food and water supplies it provides to Gaza residents.
The restrictions on Gaza come amid a humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations estimating more than 200,000 people have died since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on Gaza in August 2014.
The United Nations has said at least 3,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict and more than 3,500 have been injured.
The Gaza-Israel conflict has killed 1,947 Palestinians and 68 Israelis, according, with at least 1,000 others being killed in clashes between Israel and Hamas militants.
More than 2,000 have also been wounded in the fighting.