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US Treasury Announces New Sanctions Against Hamas-linked Crypto Companies

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The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed new sanctions bitcoin on facilitators and networks involved in crypto transactions linked to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
In an announcement posted on January 22, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it was imposing a fifth round of sanctions against Hamas. These sanctions are in response to the group’s attacks on Israel that occurred on October 7.
The Treasury has specified that it is focusing on financial facilitators who played crucial roles in transferring crypto funds to Hamas. Additionally, authorities in the United Kingdom and Australia have imposed similar sanctions on Hamas, the announcement stated.
“Hamas has sought to leverage a variety of financial transfer mechanisms, including the exploitation of cryptocurrency, to channel funds to support the group’s terrorist activities,” said Brian E. Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The Sanctions
Among the entities listed in OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals are members of the Shamlakh family, associated with a Gaza-based moneychanger funneling tens of millions of dollars from Iran to Hamas. The Herzallah Exchange, which allegedly collaborated with Hamas to facilitate crypto transactions, is also mentioned. Due to the imposed sanctions, all property and interests in property belonging to the individuals designated in OFAC’s list, located in the U.S. or under the control of U.S. individuals, are now blocked. Any such assets must be reported to OFAC.
OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions involving any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States, unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or if exempted.
The sanctions announced by OFAC against Hamas-tied crypto operators build on previous actions following the October 7 attacks. “Treasury, in close coordination with our allies and partners, will continue to leverage our authorities to target Hamas, its financiers, and its international financial infrastructure,” Nelson said. 

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