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US and UK jointly sanction online media channel Gaza Now for fundraising for Hamas

TL;DR

  • Gaza Now and its founder, Mustafa Ayash, along with other associates, have been sanctioned by the US and UK for raising funds for Hamas.
  • Their cryptocurrency fundraising efforts amounted to $21,000, a small portion of the overall funds raised post-October 7 attack.
  • The majority of crypto donations for terrorist financing are under $500, with Tether on the TRON blockchain being the preferred choice.

Gaza Now, an online media channel supporting Hamas, and its owner, Mustafa Ayash, have been sanctioned jointly by the United States and the United Kingdom for their involvement in fundraising activities for the group.

This move comes after the Oct 7 attack in Israel and emphasizes a unified approach in the attempt to restrict funding for Hamas. The sanctions have been imposed by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Foreign Sanctions Implementation in the U.K. on two entities and an additional individual affiliated with funding activities of Gaza Now. Also, several cryptocurrency addresses that were used by Ayash and Gaza Now for fundraising were disclosed as part of the sanctions.

Fundraising by Gaza Now cryptocurrency

Gaza Now’s cryptocurrency efforts, however, were a small part of their overall activities despite their wide range of fundraising initiatives. The blockchain analysis of Elliptic shows that Gaza Now has got around $21,000 in cryptocurrencies as donations proved following the incident on Oct. 7. Additional details from TRM Labs’ 2023 Illicit Crypto Economy Report are consistent with Elliptic’s conclusions suggesting that donations to terrorist groups such as Hamas and ISIS through crypto are usually small. The report points out that most of these contributions were less than $500, with a considerable proportion being less than $100, while only a small fraction was above $5,000.

Cryptocurrency in terrorism financing

The TRM Labs report highlighted the cryptocurrency preferences among terrorist financiers, identifying a sharp rise in the use of Tether (USDT) on the TRON blockchain. TRON’s favorable characteristics in low transaction costs, stable pricing, and apparent difficulty in tracing transactions are behind this choice. In spite of these preferences, the extent of cryptocurrency use in terrorism financing is small, with the report highlighting that most crypto donations are quite low in value.

The measures taken against Gaza Now, as well as other affiliated entities, signify one of the tactics employed by the U.S. and U.K. in their attempt to dismantle any financial resources for Hamas. Both states intend to limit the flow of money to Hamas from the sources by authorizing individuals and entities who participate in these fundraising efforts, along with their cryptocurrency wallets, which are their attempt to fight against terrorism financing.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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