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HomenewsJapan sanctions individuals, company over links to Hamas

Japan sanctions individuals, company over links to Hamas

Japan has announced sanctions against nine people and a company over their alleged links to the Palestinian armed group Hamas.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday the measures would freeze assets belonging to individuals and a company that have helped fund Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

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The sanctions follow the announcement of similar measures by the United States earlier this month.

Tokyo has attempted to walk a fine line on the Israel-Hamas war as it tries to balance relations with the US, its closest ally, and ties to energy-supplying partners in the Middle East.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has condemned Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel and called for the immediate release of the group’s captives, while expressing concern about civilian deaths in Gaza and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the enclave.

Hamas’s surprise attack killed at least 1,405 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials. Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 8,306 Palestinians, including more than 3,400 children, according to officials in Gaza.

Last week, Japanese officials called on Israel to suspend its assault on Gaza to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave.

Tokyo, however, on Friday abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce.

Japanese Foreign Ministry Kamikawa Yoko said her country had abstained in part due to the resolution’s failure to explicitly condemn Hamas, echoing the stance of a number of countries including Australia and India.

The non-binding resolution, which was proposed by Jordan, passed overwhelmingly, with 120 votes in favour.

The US and Israel were among 14 countries that voted against the resolution.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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