US Imposes Sanctions to Disrupt Hamas’ Funding Sources Following Deadly Attack in Israel
In response to the deadly attack carried out by Hamas in Israel, the United States has taken a decisive step by issuing sanctions aimed at disrupting the group’s sources of funding. These measures were announced during President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, reaffirming the United States’ support for its ally. The sanctions primarily target individuals involved in Hamas’ investment portfolio and a Gaza-based cryptocurrency exchange, along with other entities.
The US Treasury Department, in a statement, outlined that these sanctions focused on nine individuals and one entity spread across Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar. These actions came in the wake of Hamas’ destructive attack on October 7, which claimed the lives of 1,400 people in Israel. In retaliation, Gaza health authorities report that more than 3,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in bombings.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the urgency of these measures, stating, “The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children. We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel.”
These sanctions specifically address six individuals associated with Hamas’ covert investment portfolio, building upon earlier sanctions imposed in 2022 on officials and companies linked to this international portfolio. Notably, one of the key targets is a Gaza-based cryptocurrency business known as “Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company.” This firm provides services related to money transfer and virtual currency exchange, including the use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. According to the Treasury, this company has also been utilized by other terrorist groups for fund transfers.
Blockchain research firm Elliptic revealed that crypto wallets controlled by “Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company” have received more than $25 million in cryptocurrencies since 2015.
In response to these sanctions, Buy Cash stated that it is a “licensed international company” without specifying which authority granted its license. The company also disputed the claim of receiving $25 million in its wallet, attributing the discrepancy to fluctuations in Bitcoin’s value.
It’s worth noting that one of Buy Cash’s crypto wallets was among several seized by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terrorist Financing in June 2021, as indicated in the Treasury’s statement.
Additionally, a group of 105 US lawmakers sent a letter to the US Treasury Department and the White House expressing their “grave concern” about Hamas and its affiliated group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, using digital assets to fund their operations and evade US sanctions.
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