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Lebanese man accused by Washington of transferring money to Hamas found murdered

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli AFP A Palestinian man waves the green Hamas flag during a demonstration in Jerusalem.

France Media Agency in Beirut

April 10, 2024

  • Middle East

A Lebanese man subject to United States sanctions accusing him of orchestrating transfers of funds from Iran to Palestinian Hamas was assassinated near Beirut, a security source revealed to AFP on Wednesday.

The body of the man, Mohammad Sarur, was found Tuesday in a villa in Beit Méry, a town overlooking Beirut, hit by at least five bullets, this source said.

The perpetrators of the crime did not touch a sum of money that was on him, she added.

After his death was announced on Wednesday, his family said at a press conference from their village of Laboué that they had lost all contact with him since April 3.

The security source specified that he worked for financial institutions of the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas.

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In August 2019, the US Treasury announced sanctions against several individuals, including Sarur, accused of facilitating the transfer of “tens of millions of dollars from the Quds Force through Hezbollah in Lebanon to Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.”

The Quds Force under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the regime's ideological army, is the elite unit responsible for Iran's external operations.

The Treasury had specified that Sarur in particular was “responsible for the transfer of tens of millions of dollars between the Revolutionary Guards of Iran and the Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades”, the armed wing of Hamas.

Sarur “was identified as being in charge of all financial transfers between the al-Quds Corps and the Qassam brigades,” the US Treasury said, specifying that he also worked in a Hezbollah bank sanctioned, Bayt al-Mal.

Wednesday, during the press conference held in the presence of two Hezbollah deputies in particular, Sarur's family denounced a “planned” crime, warning against any treatment of case as a “passing incident” and requested an investigation by the Lebanese authorities.

In early March, a US Treasury official visited Beirut and asked Lebanese officials to prevent transfers of funds to Hamas from Lebanon, according to media reports.

Jesse Baker, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Asia and the Middle East in the Office of Terrorism Financing and Financial Crimes, spoke with Lebanese political and financial leaders.

Since the day after the war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas on October 7, exchanges of fire have pitted the Israeli army against Lebanese Hezbollah and its allies, who claim to support the Palestinian Islamist movement .

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116