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The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions against the online media outlet Gaza Now and its founder, Mustafa Ayash, accusing them of supporting the militant group Hamas. As reported by the Associated Press, this decision was made by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which highlighted the organisation’s efforts to fundraise for Hamas following an attack on Israel on October 7.

Gaza Now, known for its extensive reach on social media platforms, boasts over 300,000 followers on X (formerly known as Twitter) and has a significant presence on the encrypted messaging service, Telegram. The sanctions also target associated entities, including Al-Qureshi Executives and Aakhirah Ltd., as well as their director, Aozma Sultana. These firms are accused of collaborating with Gaza Now in several fundraising activities aimed at supporting Hamas.

ALSO READ: Pentagon Chief Says Civilian Death Toll ‘Far Too High’ In Gaza Day After US Abstained From Key UN Vote

The action was taken in coordination with the United Kingdom’s Office of Foreign Sanctions Implementation, marking a joint effort to counter Hamas’ financing channels. Brian Nelson, Treasury Under Secretary, emphasised the commitment of the US and its allies to disrupt the financial networks that enable Hamas to conduct further attacks.

As a consequence of these sanctions, all assets of the targeted individuals and entities within US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. This move effectively cuts off Gaza Now, its founder, and the associated entities from the US financial system and restricts their ability to do business internationally.

Efforts to reach representatives for Gaza Now and Mustafa Ayash for comment were unsuccessful. These sanctions underscore the US government’s broader strategy to use its financial powers to combat terrorism and its supporters globally.

ALSO READ: UN Security Council For The First Time Demands Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

Earlier this week, Israel abruptly withdrew its negotiation team from Doha, citing insurmountable obstacles in discussions aimed at establishing a ceasefire in Gaza. According to a high-ranking source familiar with the situation, the breakdown in talks is attributed to what Israel considers unrealistic demands by Hamas, marking a concerning halt in the quest for peace during a critical time.

The talks, which had momentarily raised hopes for a six-week ceasefire, stumbled as the two parties explored the possibility of releasing 40 Israeli hostages in exchange for easing tensions. These hostages are among 130 individuals currently held in Gaza, underscoring the high stakes involved in the negotiations.

The failure of the talks comes amid accusations from an Israeli official with ties to the Mossad intelligence agency against Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. The official alleges Sinwar is deliberately undermining diplomatic efforts, aiming to escalate the conflict, particularly during the sensitive period of Ramadan, potentially heightening tensions further.

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