Son Of Hamas's Slain Leader Accuses Founder, Director Of 'Gaza Now,' Of Stealing Donations Solicited In Support Of Gazans

December 1, 2023

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On November 21, 2023, the Gaza-based, "Gaza Now," a media outlet supporting Hamas and other Palestinian factions that took part in the October 7 attack on Israel, shared several posts on its Telegram and X (formerly Twitter) accounts eulogizing the family of its director and founder, whom they identified as "Mustafa Ayash."[1]

"Gaza Now" has been highly active on X and Telegram disseminating content promoting Hamas's military wing, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and soliciting donations in cryptocurrency "in support of Gazans."

The outlet revealed Ayash's name after claiming that at least 12 members of his immediate family had been killed in an Israeli strike. The strike, the outlet stated, targeted their residence in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip and occurred a few hours before the beginning of the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

'Gaza Now' Reveals Name Of Director, Founder

On November 21, the 'Gaza Now' Arabic channel started eulogizing the family one by one, displaying photos of them and others in the rubble of their house.

On November 22, the English channel shared the following eulogy shown in the image below:[2]

The English channel also highlighted a post that Ayash had shared on his X account but seems to have deleted later. In it, he claimed that at least 12 of his family members had been killed in the alleged strike.[3]

Director Resides In Turkey

On X, Gaza Now shared a post in which it shed further light on Ayash's background, saying that he had been a "prominent media figure" who had resided in Turkey since 2020. Later, the post was deleted.[4]

Hamas's Ismail Haniyah Offers Condolences

On Telegram, the outlet posted an audio phone message from the Head of Hamas's Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyah, who resides in Qatar. In the message, Haniyah extends his condolences to Gaza Now's Director, Ayash.[5]


Son Of Hamas's Slain Leader Warns: Ayash Is A Thief

On October 31, Bilal Nizar Ryan, a Palestinian who identifies himself as a "Human Rights Advocate, Expert In Technology Management And Digital Marketing," wrote a post on his X account warning supporter of Hamas that Ayash is a suspicious person. Ryan accuses Ayash of stealing the donations he solicits via Gaza Now.[6]

Ryan happens to be the son of a slain high-ranking Hamas leader, Nizar Ryan, who served as a liaison between the organization's political leadership and its military wing. The Hamas leader was became a prominent Islamic scholar within Hamas after the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004. Nizar Ryan was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2009.

  1. his post, Bilal Ryan claimed that Ayash holds Austrian nationality and warned that Ayash was spreading rumors that could be damaging to Hamas. This could be in reference to Gaza Now's reporting that the family of Ayash was allegedly killed a few hours before the ceasefire, which could have compromised the Hamas-Israel agreement to swap hostages for prisoners.

Ryan wrote: "The resistance community must beware the suspicious Austrian Mustafa Ayash, director of the Gaza Now page. The suspect is involved in spreading rumors that serve the occupation army, collecting donations through digital currencies and stealing them."

In response, on November 25, Gaza Now posted on Telegram that Ryan and his brother are part of an Israeli-sponsored smearing campaign aimed at undermining the outlet.[7]

Donations To Gaza Now

Since the start of the "Gaza Now" fundraising campaign, soon after the Hamas attack and Israel's military response, donors were requested to donate in cryptocurrencies, specifically in bitcoin and in Tether (USDT), and to channel those contributions through a London-based company called Alqureshi Executives. Fundraisers also accepted donations via Telegram, PayPal, the crypto trading platform "Binance," the international money transfer app, "Wise," and through bank accounts located in Belgium and in the United States. It claims that the donations will be used to treat wounded Gazans or to provide humanitarian aid.[8]

The newest donation campaign initiated by "Gaza Now" was published on Telegram in Arabic, Russian, Turkish, and English. Another ongoing campaign is promoted on its official website where the "Donate To Us" icon leads to a PayPal notification reading: "This organization is currently ineligible to receive donations."



[1] Telegram, Gaza Now (Arabic), November 21, 2023.

[2] Telegram, Gaza Now (English), November 25, 2023.

[3] Telegram, Gaza Now (English), November 25, 2023.

[4] X, Nowgnna, November 30, 2023.

[5] Telegram, Gaza Now (Arabic) November 30, 2023.

[6] X, Nizar Ryan, October 31, 2023.

[7] Telegram, Gaza Now (Arabic), November 25, 2023.

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