Cryptocurrency Sanctions on Palestinian News Network Gaza Now

Cryptocurrency Sanctions on Palestinian News Network Gaza Now

Recently, the US Department of the Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the Palestinian news network Gaza Now on March 27. These sanctions were based on allegations that Gaza Now was supporting Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. In addition to sanctioning Gaza Now, the Treasury also targeted several cryptocurrency addresses associated with the news network and its affiliates.

Among the cryptocurrency addresses designated by the Treasury were an empty Bitcoin address and two Ethereum addresses holding over $2,690 in ETH and other tokens. Additionally, five USDT addresses were targeted, with over $10,350 being held in total, although only two addresses were found to contain funds. Notably, one of the USDT addresses was linked to Gaza Now founder Mustafa Ayash. The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Qureshi Executives, Aakhirah Limited, and their director, Aozma Sultana, for their alleged support of Gaza Now.

The sanctions were imposed by the Treasury due to Gaza Now’s purported support of Hamas’ fundraising activities following the October 7, 2023 attacks on Israel. Al-Qureshi Executives and Aakhirah Limited were also accused of providing financial assistance to Gaza Now, as well as engaging in advertising activities on behalf of the news network. Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the department’s dedication to disrupting Hamas’ financial operations.

The US Treasury’s sanctions were part of a collaborative effort with the United Kingdom, which announced a comprehensive asset freeze targeting the same entities. Individuals and businesses in both countries are prohibited from conducting any transactions with the sanctioned parties or utilizing their assets in any way. These measures are intended to restrict the flow of funds to terrorist organizations and prevent the financing of illegal activities.

In October 2023, blockchain analytics company Elliptic revealed that Gaza Now had received $21,000 in cryptocurrency following the attacks, including $2,000 frozen by exchanges and $9,000 in USDT frozen by Tether. This information underscores the importance of tracking and monitoring cryptocurrency transactions to prevent illicit financing and uphold international security standards.

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