US and UK Sanctions Authorities Target Gaza Now for Supporting Hamas

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US and UK Sanctions Authorities Target Gaza Now for Supporting Hamas

Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two individuals and three entities as key financial facilitators involved in fundraising for Hamas including online entity Gaza Now and its founder Mustafa Ayash.

This action is being taken as part of a collaborative effort with the United Kingdom’s Office of Foreign Sanctions Implementation, which is implementing sanctions on these same targets. 

According to OFAC, in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attack, Gaza Now began a fundraising effort in support of Hamas.

According to TRM, GazaNow, which, in the days following the attacks on Israel, actively supported Hamas through the dissemination of official Hamas propaganda, has solicited donations using cryptocurrency. Addresses linked to them, which were first active in August 2021, have received over $4.3 million. Roughly $32,000 of that total has come since the October 7 attacks.

According to TRM Labs, GazaNow has transacted with a number of global cryptocurrency exchanges, mixing services, and PIJ controlled addresses

On October 9th, GazaNow announced that they were suspending their public fundraising efforts, directing supporters to reach out through personal messaging. Since then the public fundraising campaign has resumed although they no longer accept donations in USDT, presumably since Tether announced that they had frozen addresses controlled by the group.

GazaNow post soliciting cryptocurrency donations and warning against the use of USDT

The United States and UK have already conducted three coordinated sanctions actions related to Hamas fundraising efforts since October 7, 2023, including a November 14, 2023 action against Hamas leaders and financiers, a December 13, 2023 action against additional Hamas financial officials and representatives, and a January 22, 2024 U.S., UK, and Australia action against additional Hamas financial networks and facilitators of virtual currency transfers.

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