The Israeli police have reportedly frozen cryptocurrency accounts linked to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, according to the local news outlet Calcalist.
The move follows a major attack by Hamas on Israel over the weekend with the death toll surpassing 900 and many others taken hostage.
Calcalist referred to a press report explaining that the cyber unit of Lahav 433, alongside the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel (NBCTF) and other intelligence agencies, have been tracking and identifying cryptocurrency infrastructure used by terrorists to raise funds.
The police statement said: “With the outbreak of the conflict, Hamas initiated a fundraising campaign on various social networks, urging the public to deposit cryptocurrencies into its accounts.”
It added that the Lahav 433 cyber unit partnered with the Israeli defense ministry, intelligence agencies, and the Binance crypto exchange to target the accounts. Funds that are captured will be directed to the Israeli national treasury.
In a parallel effort, the cyber unit of the police collaborated with British authorities to freeze a Barclays bank account that Hamas had made public for accepting donations. Both the Israeli Police and the Israel Defense Forces, in their statement, reaffirmed their commitment to combating terror financing.
Binance’s history with Hamas
Earlier this year in March, Binance found itself under legal scrutiny when the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged the company with multiple violations. One of the cited instances was the platform’s failure to act on ‘Hamas transactions’ which took place in February 2019.
Based on documents from Israel’s NBCTF, since 2021, Israeli officials have seized approximately 190 Binance accounts suspected to be affiliated with terrorist entities.
Crypto Aid Israel
Leading projects in the Israeli crypto sector, including 42Studio, MarketAcross, Collider Ventures, CryptoJungle, and many others, have launched Crypto Aid Israel. This initiative has been established with the aim of supporting Israeli citizens affected by the ongoing conflict who are in need of humanitarian aid.
The official message on the initiative’s website states: “Our goal is to raise desperately needed funds for displaced citizens whose unbearable situation demands humanitarian aid.”
To ensure the transparency of the fundraiser, Crypto Aid Israel has created a multi-signature wallet that will be jointly overseen by several stakeholders. Donations can be made in various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin ($BTC), Ethereum ($ETH), and dollar-tied stablecoins like USDT and USDC.
Crypto Aid Israel has said donators should be cautious when inputting the wallet address.
It said: “It is incredibly important to consider before donating that due to potential phishing scams and cyber attacks, please compare the crypto wallet address to the verified one on the official website, so that funds aren’t sent to addresses that may have been sent to you through other sources.”