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In response to the recent devastating attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Israel has taken action to freeze cryptocurrency accounts used to solicit donations for the organization on social media. The attacks marked a serious escalation in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, prompting Israeli authorities to take measures against Hamas’s financial activities.
Suspected Fundraising Campaign on Social Networks
According to Israeli police, it is suspected that Hamas initiated a fundraising campaign on social networks as the conflict escalated. The organization encouraged the public to deposit cryptocurrencies into their accounts for financial support. In response, the Police Cyber Unit and the Ministry of Defense, with the assistance of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, located and froze these accounts. The objective is to divert the funds to the state treasury.
While the statement does not specify the number of frozen accounts or the value of cryptocurrencies seized, it reflects Israel’s commitment to disrupting Hamas’s financial networks.
Binance’s Role and Cooperation with Law Enforcement
Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, played a crucial role in assisting Israeli authorities in freezing these accounts. A spokesperson for Binance emphasized their commitment to combating terror financing, stating that their team has been working tirelessly to support ongoing efforts. The exchange actively collaborates with global law enforcement agencies and regulators.
Binance’s cooperation with law enforcement is part of its broader efforts to maintain the integrity of the cryptocurrency industry. They use data and intelligence provided by law enforcement agencies and investigative tools to identify individuals, addresses, and infrastructures associated with specific organizations engaged in illicit activities.
Hamas’s History of Using Crypto for Fundraising
Hamas has a history of endorsing cryptocurrency as a fundraising method. However, in April, the organization announced that it would cease receiving bitcoin donations, citing increased “hostile” activities against donors.
Israel’s Ongoing Actions Against Crypto Accounts
Israel’s efforts to seize cryptocurrency accounts associated with illicit activities are not new. It was reported in May that Israel had confiscated around 190 crypto accounts at Binance since 2021, with some linked to the Islamic State and others to Palestinian firms associated with Hamas.
This ongoing action underscores the importance of monitoring and regulating cryptocurrency activities to prevent their misuse for funding illegal organizations. It also highlights the role that cryptocurrency exchanges play in cooperating with law enforcement agencies to ensure the security and integrity of the digital financial ecosystem.
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