Israel Defense Ministry Seized Crypto Wallets Holding Hamas-Destined Funds – The Israeli Defense Ministry recently seized cryptocurrency wallets belonging to Al’matchadun currency exchange-related organizations. Crypto assets worth thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of shekels were stored in the wallets.
The seized funds, according to the Defense Ministry, were en route to Hamas, a terrorist group blacklisted by the US State Department and the European Union.
The confiscation was carried out after Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order ordering the move, according to the Jerusalem Post. According to the report, this is the third time Israel has seized crypto wallets or assets on terrorism funding accusations in the last twelve months.
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The Shamlach family, according to the report, owns Al’matchadun and is linked to terror networks, according to the Defense Ministry. Gantz is quoted saying after the seizure that Israel is committed to preventing the flow of funding to Hamas.
“We are using all available means to cut off terror organizations’ economic ‘oxygen supply. We are continuing to develop methods to combat terror and the businesses that promote it. I applaud the intelligence, operational, and legal cooperation of the entities involved. We will continue to take all necessary steps to combat terrorism.”
The National Bureau for Counter Terrorism Financing in Israel (NBCTF) and Lahav 433, Israel’s national cyber squad, were both involved in the seizure of the crypto wallets. The intelligence division of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was also involved in the operation.
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Defense Ministry Seized Crypto Wallets Holding Hamas-Destined Funds – The NBCTF had previously confiscated digital assets such as tether, XRP, and ether, all of which it claimed were meant for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades.
The confiscation of crypto assets by Israel comes only months after the Authority for Combating Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering introduced new legislation requiring more open crypto transaction records.