Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order allowing security forces to confiscate cryptocurrency accounts believed to be linked to the military wing of Hamas, the de facto governing power of the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

Gantz said a joint security operation between the Defense Ministry’s National Anti-Terrorism Financing Administration and security forces “uncovered a network of e-wallets” allegedly linked to Hamas and its ongoing fundraising efforts using bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

Hamas’ long-running cryptocurrency fundraising campaign has reportedly intensified recently following an 11-day war between Israel and a terrorist group in May this year. In his statement, Gantz provided “intelligence, technological and legal tools” that allowed the authorities to capture funds as “operational hacks.”

Details of wallets seized by the ministry show that they contain Tether (USDT), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), XRP, Binance Coin (BNB), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC) and many other digital currencies. … A large number of wallets were linked to specific individuals, but most of them were classified as anonymous by the authorities.

Hamas turned to cryptocurrency because of its economic isolation, stemming from the fact that it was declared a terrorist organization, in whole or in part, by several countries and international blocs, including the United States and the European Union. Russia, Turkey and China are among those who do not consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

RELATED: Hamas’ military wing reportedly uses several BTC wallet addresses to evade authorities

Having ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, the organization consists of a social services unit, al-Dawa, and a militant wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, where the latter is behind much of the Hamas-documented collection. for bitcoin. activities. Over the years, the Al-Qassam Brigades have developed increasingly sophisticated strategies to prevent investigators from raising red flags associated with their campaign.

According to a 2020 report from the Interdisciplinary Center’s International Office for Combating Terrorism, digital wallets are allegedly linked to both Hamas and Nasser Salah al-Din’s Iranian brigades (a military wing of the Palestinian Army). China) has accumulated around 3,370 BTC in four years.

Source: CoinTelegraph