The US Treasury Department Sanctions Gaza Now and Crypto Addresses Over Alleged Support for Hamas

The US Treasury Department Sanctions Gaza Now and Crypto Addresses Over Alleged Support for Hamas

The US Department of the Treasury, along with its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), decided to sanction the Palestinian news network Gaza Now on March 27. These sanctions were imposed over allegations of Gaza Now supporting Hamas. As part of the sanctions, the Treasury designated several crypto addresses that were linked to Gaza Now and its associated parties. Included in this designation was an empty Bitcoin address and two Ethereum addresses that contained over $2,690 worth of ETH and other tokens. In addition, the Treasury also identified five USDT addresses that held more than $10,350, although funds were found in only two of these addresses. Notably, one of these USDT addresses was connected to Gaza Now founder, Mustafa Ayash.

Apart from Gaza Now, the Treasury also imposed sanctions on Qureshi Executives, Aakhirah Limited, and their director, Aozma Sultana. However, unlike Gaza Now, there were no crypto addresses specified for Sultana or the aforementioned companies. The reason cited by the Treasury for these sanctions was Gaza Now’s alleged support for Hamas’ fundraising activities in the aftermath of the October 7, 2023, attacks on Israel. It was revealed that Al-Qureshi Executives and Aakhirah Limited had provided financial support to Gaza Now, as well as assistance through advertising.

Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the government’s commitment to disrupting Hamas’ financing of terrorist operations. He stated, “Treasury remains committed to degrading Hamas’ ability to finance its terrorist activities.” These sanctions were implemented in conjunction with the United Kingdom, which announced a comprehensive freeze of assets related to the sanctioned entities. This action effectively prohibits individuals and entities in both countries from engaging in any transactions with the designated parties or utilizing their assets in any way.

In an alarming revelation, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic disclosed in October 2023 that Gaza Now had received a substantial amount of $21,000 in crypto following the attacks, out of which $2,000 was frozen by exchanges and $9,000 in USDT was frozen by Tether. These findings underscore the importance of monitoring and regulating transactions involving crypto assets to prevent illicit activities and support for terrorist organizations.

Overall, the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department on Gaza Now and associated crypto addresses shed light on the critical role of financial regulations in combating terrorism financing. It serves as a stark reminder of the need for enhanced oversight and accountability in the digital asset space to prevent misuse and illicit activities that can have far-reaching consequences.

Regulation

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