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Gaza Now Crypto Wallets Targeted in US Sanctions

Last Updated March 28, 2024 10:18 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 28, 2024 10:18 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • The US Treasury, in collaboration with the UK, has sanctioned the Palestinian news network Gaza Now.
  • The Treasury targeted several cryptocurrency addresses linked to Gaza Now and its affiliates.
  • The ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in severe human and infrastructural damage.

The US Department of the Treasury and its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) indeed sanctioned  the Palestinian news network Gaza Now on March 27, citing allegations of supporting Hamas.

In addition, the Treasury identified and designated several cryptocurrency addresses  associated with Gaza Now and its affiliated entities.

US and UK Sanction Gaza Now Founder, Freeze Over $30,000 in Crypto

The Treasury took action against an empty Bitcoin address , two Ethereum addresses with assets exceeding $2,690, and five USDT addresses with over $10,350 in holdings. However, only two of these USDT addresses appear funded. Among these was a USDT address associated with Mustafa Ayash, the founder of Gaza Now.

In addition to these measures, the Treasury imposed sanctions  on Qureshi Executives, Aakhirah Limited, and their director, Aozma Sultana. However, no cryptocurrency addresses linked to Sultana or the two companies were specified in the sanctions.

US and UK Sanction Gaza Now and Affiliates for Hamas Support

The Treasury imposed sanctions  on Gaza Now, alleging the network supported Hamas’s fundraising activities after the attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023.

Furthermore, Al-Qureshi Executives and Aakhirah Limited were sanctioned for financially supporting Gaza Now.

These actions reflect the Treasury’s broader strategy to disrupt financial networks that support Hamas’s activities.

Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, stated :

“The Treasury remains committed to degrading Hamas’ ability to finance its terrorist activities.”

The Treasury, in collaboration with the UK, implemented sanctions against entities and individuals connected to Gaza Now. The UK has undertaken  a comprehensive asset freeze against these parties. As a result, in both the US and the UK, individuals and entities are banned from conducting any business with those sanctioned, and any transactions involving their assets are forbidden.

Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm, disclosed  in October 2023 that Gaza Now had received $21,000 in cryptocurrency donations following to the attacks. Of this, $2,000 was frozen by exchanges, and Tether froze an additional $9,000 worth of USDT.

Over 32,00 Killed, Infrastructure Devastated Amid Humanitarian Crisis

The situation in Gaza remains extremely dire, with recent updates indicating a staggering human toll and widespread destruction due to the ongoing conflict. As of late March 2024, casualty figures released by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry claim over 32,490 people killed, of which more than 13,000 are supposedly children and 8,400 listed as women. Additionally, more than 74,889 individuals have been reported injured. The conflict has also resulted in over 8,000 missing persons. In Israel, the revised death toll from attacks stands at 1,139, with at least 8,730 injuries reported .

The fighting has caused unprecedented destruction across Gaza, affecting homes, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and essential infrastructure. Israeli strikes have, reportedly, damaged or destroyed around 360,000 homes. Moreover, 392 educational facilities and 12 out of 35 hospitals are reportedly only partially functioning. The conflict has also significantly affected the region’s water supply, with 83% of groundwater wells reported as non-operational.

The ongoing hostilities are severely complicating efforts to deliver aid and support to the affected population.

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