- The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia announce heightened sanctions on crypto networks associated with Hamas.
- The move follows the October 7 attacks on Israel, with the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposing its fifth round of sanctions.
- Financial facilitators involved in channeling crypto funds to Hamas are targeted, aligning with actions by the UK and Australia.
- Hamas is accused of exploiting various financial mechanisms, including cryptocurrency, to fund terrorist activities.
- The Shamlakh family and Herzallah Exchange, allegedly funneling millions to Hamas, are among the entities listed in OFAC’s sanctions.
Exploiting Cryptocurrency for Terrorism Funding
In response to the October 7 attacks on Israel, the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia have jointly escalated sanctions against crypto networks associated with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The move, led by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), marks the fifth round of sanctions targeting financial facilitators who played pivotal roles in channeling crypto funds to support Hamas’ terrorist activities.
Entities in the Spotlight
OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals includes members of the Shamlakh family, linked to a Gaza-based moneychanger funneling substantial funds from Iran to Hamas. Additionally, the Herzallah Exchange, accused of collaborating with Hamas to facilitate crypto transactions, faces sanctions. Despite the severity of the measures, specific crypto addresses were not disclosed.
Media Scrutiny and Clarification
The sanctions build upon previous actions taken by OFAC in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks. While media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, initially reported on alleged ties between Hamas and crypto funding networks, subsequent expert analysis has raised questions about the accuracy of these claims. The WSJ later issued a correction, highlighting the complexity of navigating the intersection between terrorism financing and cryptocurrency.