Israel said it “discovered an electronic wallet network used by Hamas” to raise funds using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Israel has stated that it will begin to seize cryptocurrency accounts used by the Palestinian Hamas organization to raise funds for its armed forces.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the security forces to confiscate these accounts after a joint operation on Thursday. The ministry stated that “a network of e-wallets was discovered” and Hamas used Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to raise funds. funds.
It added that Hamas has been launching an online campaign to raise donations for its military sector, and that this effort has been accelerated after 11 days of war in Gaza in May this year.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are favored by illegal transactions because they are considered difficult to trace.
Quoting Gantz as saying: “The intelligence, technology and legal tools that enable us to grasp the funds of terrorists around the world constitute a breakthrough in business.”
Hamas was elected democratically in 2006 and took control of the Gaza Strip from the rival Palestinian party Fatah a year later after the latter attempted a preemptive coup.
Since then, Israel has launched four major offensives against the besieged enclave, killing thousands of civilians. The most recent incident occurred in May and killed 260 Palestinians, including at least 66 children. On the Israeli side, 13 people were killed, including two children.
The ceasefire promoted by Egypt has been violated several times in the past month, with Israeli fighter jets attacking several areas that it claims belong to Hamas military bases.
U.S. seizes hundreds of encrypted accounts
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that it had seized millions of dollars from the cryptocurrency accounts used by armed groups including Al-Qaida and Islamic State (ISIS) to fund their organizations and violent conspiracy.
The department said that in addition to more than 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages related to these programs, it also confiscated about $2 million.
One aspect of the US investigation is directed at Hamas’ military branch. Law enforcement officers seized more than 150 cryptocurrency accounts, which they said were laundered from accounts operated by the group.