JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel stated Thursday it is going to start seizing cryptocurrency accounts utilized by the Palestinian Hamas group to boost cash for its armed wing.
Israeli Protection Minister Benny Gantz ordered safety forces to grab the accounts after a joint operation “uncovered an internet of digital wallets” utilized by Hamas to boost funds utilizing bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies, the ministry stated.
It stated Hamas has been waging a web based marketing campaign to boost donations for its navy wing, efforts that accelerated after the 11-day Gaza warfare in Could. Cryptocurrencies resembling bitcoin are favored for illicit transactions as a result of they’re perceived as laborious to hint.
“The intelligence, technological and authorized instruments that allow us to get our fingers on terrorists’ cash world wide represent an operational breakthrough,” Gantz was quoted as saying.
Final yr, the U.S. Justice Division said it had seized millions of dollars from cryptocurrency accounts that militant teams, together with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, relied on to finance their organizations and violent plots.
The division stated it had confiscated about $2 million, along with greater than 300 cryptocurrency accounts, 4 web sites and 4 Fb pages associated to the schemes.
One prong of the U.S. investigation focused the navy wing of Hamas. Regulation enforcement officers seized greater than 150 cryptocurrency accounts that they are saying laundered funds to and from accounts operated by the group.
Hamas, which seized Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007 and has fought 4 wars with Israel, is taken into account a terrorist group by Israel and Western international locations.