The Consequences of Supporting Hamas: Gaza Now Sanctioned by US Department of the Treasury

The Consequences of Supporting Hamas: Gaza Now Sanctioned by US Department of the Treasury

The US Department of the Treasury, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), took decisive action on March 27 by imposing sanctions on the Palestinian news network Gaza Now. The sanctions were issued on the grounds of allegations accusing Gaza Now of providing support to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. This move by the Treasury reflects a zero-tolerance stance towards entities believed to be associated with terrorist activities.

As a part of the sanctions, the Treasury designated several crypto addresses that are reportedly linked to Gaza Now and its affiliated parties. These addresses include an empty Bitcoin address and two Ethereum addresses holding a total amount exceeding $2,690 in ETH and other tokens. Additionally, five USDT addresses were designated, with a cumulative value of over $10,350. Notably, one of the USDT addresses was directly associated with Mustafa Ayash, the founder of Gaza Now.

In addition to Gaza Now, the Treasury also sanctioned Qureshi Executives, Aakhirah Limited, and their director, Aozma Sultana. While specific crypto addresses related to Sultana or the mentioned companies were not designated, the actions were taken based on allegations of financial and promotional support provided to Gaza Now, which in turn was accused of backing Hamas’ fundraising efforts post the October 7, 2023 attacks on Israel.

The Treasury’s decision to impose sanctions on Gaza Now was part of a collaborative effort with the UK, which simultaneously announced a full asset freeze on the sanctioned entities. This joint action aims to restrict individuals and entities in both countries from engaging in any business transactions with the designated parties, thereby inhibiting the flow of funds or assets linked to alleged terrorist activities.

Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the commitment to disrupting Hamas’ financial operations, stating, “Treasury remains committed to degrading Hamas’ ability to finance its terrorist activities.” This statement underscores the importance of cutting off the financial lifelines that sustain terrorist organizations like Hamas.

Notably, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic previously reported in October 2023 that Gaza Now received $21,000 in cryptocurrency in the aftermath of the attacks, with $2,000 being frozen by exchanges and $9,000 in USDT frozen by Tether. This revelation sheds light on the intricate financial flows that occur within the crypto landscape and highlights the significance of regulatory oversight in monitoring and preventing illicit transactions.

Regulation

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