US hits Hamas military commander with terrorism sanctions

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2006, file photo, the State Department sign used as a backdrop at the State Department in Washington. The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government. For a second consecutive year, the Obama administration set a record for times federal employees told citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn't find a single page of files that were requested. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is hitting a Hamas military commander with terrorism sanctions.

The State Department says it’s designating Abu Anas al-Ghandour as a global terrorist. The designation freezes any assets in the U.S. and bars Americans from doing business with him.

Hamas is the Islamic militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. The U.S. considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Ghandour leads a Hamas brigade in northern Gaza and spent years in Israeli prison decades ago. The U.S. says he was involved in an attack on an Israeli military outpost on the Israel-Gaza border that killed two Israeli soldiers. The U.S. says that attack led to the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The soldier was released in a 2011 prisoner swap.