State Dept. designates Gaza-based council a terrorist group

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The U.S. State Department designated a Gaza-based jihadist umbrella group as a terrorist organization.

The designation for the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, which has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on Israel since the group’s founding in 2012, means that American individuals and organizations are barred from any transactions with the council and that any assets it holds in the United States will be frozen.

The council was designated a “foreign terrorist organization” and a “specially designated global terrorist” entity, according to a State Department statement.

The designation was made in conjunction with the departments of Justice and the Treasury.

The council claimed responsibility for an August 2013 rocket attack on Eilat and an April 2013 attack on the city. It also claimed responsibility for a Gaza-Israel cross-border bomb attack in June 2012 that targeted an Israeli construction site, killing one civilian.

In February, the council released a statement declaring support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, according to the State Department.