U.S. Intensifies Sanctions on Hamas, Targeting Crypto Assets

Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Treasury Secretary for the United States, made a recent announcement on further sanctions against Hamas, according to Reuters. These new measures are focused on Hamas’ usage of bitcoin assets. This comes as a direct retaliation to the assault carried out by the Palestinian terrorist organization against Israel a month ago. The purpose of the sanctions, which were coordinated with partners of the United States, is to cut off Hamas’s sources of revenue, especially those ones that include crypto assets.

Specifics of the Sanctions

The United States Treasury has implemented penalties on top Hamas leaders, a crypto exchange operating in Gaza, and people who have been related to Hamas’s financial support. This comprises two Hamas executives as well as six persons who manage the financial portfolio for Hamas across a variety of geographic areas. The sanctions are a part of an attempt to disrupt the income that the organization derives from a portfolio of companies that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the United States Department of the Treasury especially targeted the cryptocurrency exchange known as “Buy Cash,” which was located in Gaza and is suspected of having aided in the funding of terrorist operations. In addition to that, Ahmed M. M. Alaqad, the primary operator of Buy Cash, was given a punishment. There is evidence to suggest that Buy Cash was involved in wealth transfers between al Qaeda affiliates and ISIS.

In addition, the action taken by the Treasury Department targeted people such as Musa Muhammad Salim Dudin and Abdelbasit Hamza Elhassan Mohamed Khair, who were reportedly involved in facilitating the movement of cash for Hamas. Other people who are subject to sanctions include Ahmed Sadu Jahleb, Amer Kamal Sharif Alshawa, Aiman Ahmad Al-Duwaik, and Walid Mohammed Mustafa Jadallah. All of these people are believed to have positions in organizations that are controlled by Hamas.

Those sanctioned include Hamas operatives Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah and Ayman Nofal, both of whom were recently slain in an Israeli attack.

The Situation

By soliciting donations in bitcoin, Hamas sought to get around restrictions imposed by the United States. However, this endeavor was unsuccessful as a result of the harsh steps that were taken by the United States Treasury to clamp down on operations of this kind. The government of Joe Biden, which is dedicated to imposing further expenses on Hamas and their funding, has placed an emphasis on the need for additional sanctions.

The dedication of the United States Treasury to thwarting the funding of terrorist organizations is reflected in the tightening of sanctions against Hamas, particularly in the field of virtual currencies. This action reflects the rising concern about the use of digital assets in terror funding as well as the proactive strategy taken by the United States government to combat this danger.

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