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Israeli Defense Ministry Confiscates Crypto Wallets Tied to Hamas Funding

The wallets confiscated all had ties to terrorist organization Hamas funding, as designated by the Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

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Photo by twenty20photos / Envato

The Israeli Defense Ministry has announced that they’ve seized digital wallets that contain cryptocurrency that was allegedly intended to fund the terrorist group Hamas.

Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister signed a seizure order for 30 wallets in total, which contained tens of thousands of shekels that were linked to 12 different accounts, per a press statement which was issued by the National Bureau for Counter Terrorist Financing of Israel (NBCTF).

According to the release, these wallets all belonged to businesses that “assisted the Al’matchadun currency exchange company belonging to the Shamlach family declared by the Defense Minister as a terror organization,” with some of the now confiscated cryptocurrency owned directly by the Shamlach family.

The family in question has been on Israel’s radar for a while now, with the NBCTF noting that via the currency exchange companies it owns, it “assists the Hamas terror organization, particularly its military arm, by transferring funds in scopes of dozens of million dollars annually.”

Last year in May, Gantz signed an order that designated currency exchange companies “Al-Markaziya li-siarafa” and “Arab Trading Company China”, owned by Zuhir Yunes Shamalch, as terrorist organizations, accusing them of facilitating tens of millions of dollars worth of transfer to the military wing of Hamas each year.

“We will continue to target the Iran-Hamas axis, and disrupt the funding channels which serves the military wings of the terrorist organizations,” said Gantz at the time.

Hamas, a Palestinian terror group has seen a rise in cryptocurrency donations, in a bit to circumvent international sanctions. Back in June 2021, an official on Hamas’ behalf said that there had been a “spike” in Bitcoin donations to their group. He added that, “Some of the money gets used for military purposes to defend the basic rights of the Palestinians.”

Israel’s response has been to seize any wallets linked to Hamas. Back in July of last year, wallets containing $7.7 million in Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and even Tether (USDT) were all located and confiscated by the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

But, Hamas hasn’t been getting just crypto donations, either. Just earlier this year, a police investigation conducted in India was able to reveal links between a crypto wallet hack and the terrorist group. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, as well as Bitcoin Cash all worth over half a million dollars were all but looted from a Delhi Businessman’s wallet just before they were routed to an al-Qassam Brigades, which is Hamas’ military wing.

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