The Israeli authorities seized 30 cryptocurrency wallets from 12 accounts on suspicion that they were funding the terrorist group Hamas.
The Defense Ministry of Israel reportedly seized 30 digital wallets belonging to businesses associated with the exchange company al-Mutahadun. The authorities accused the latter of funding the terrorist organization Hamas.
Israel’s Latest Seizure
In 2021, al-Mutahadun was one of the firms designated as a terrorist-funding entity by Israeli officials. Specifically, they claimed that the Shamlah family-owned company “assists the Hamas terror group, and especially its military wing, by transferring funds amounting to tens of millions of dollars a year.”
According to The Times of Israel, the Defense Ministry, the police, and the military conducted a joint operation, seizing 30 cryptocurrency wallets from 12 accounts belonging to al-Mutahadun. Law enforcement agents revealed that the confiscated digital assets equaled tens of thousands of shekels.
Commenting on the matter was Benny Gantz – Defense Minister of the country:
“We continue to expand our tools to deal with terrorism and with companies that supply it with an economic oxygen pipeline.”
In addition, he praised the actions of all organizations taking part in the operation. “We will continue to work together in order to fight terror by any means and in any way,” Gantz vowed.
This is not the first time cryptocurrencies have been connected with the Israel-Palestine dispute. Earlier this year, the Israeli government seized more than $800,000 worth of digital assets from a firm linked to Hamas.
Hamas Employs Bitcoin and Dogecoin
Last summer, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing confiscated $7.7 million in cryptocurrencies from 84 addresses. Similar to the aforementioned cases, the authorities argued those funds were intended to finance the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.
Per the seizure order, it became clear that the stablecoin Tether (USDT) was the most used digital asset by the organization. Bitcoin (BTC), Tron (TRX), Ether (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) were the other assets in the top five.
The tension between Israel and the Islamic State of Palestine seems to have cooled off recently. However, this was not the case last year when the two sides declared war on each other.
While Israel is among the technologically-advanced market economies and relies on its financial stability, Palestine faces significant issues in that field. As such, the Palestinian Monetary Authority revealed intentions to issue its sovereign digital currency. According to some experts, this effort could grant the state a higher level of financial independence:
“As a result, they [the Palestinians] sometimes have to borrow to cover foreign exchange payments to third parties and are stuck with a glut of Israeli banknotes. That could be one reason a digital currency would be attractive to the Palestinian monetary system.”