Israel’s Defense Ministry seized cryptocurrency wallets holding funds that were destined for Hamas, a report has said. The wallets belonged to businesses that are associated with Al’matchadun currency exchange, which itself is accused of helping to funnel funds to Hamas.
Israel’s Defense Ministry recently seized cryptocurrency wallets belonging to businesses that are associated with Al’matchadun currency exchange. The wallets had crypto assets worth thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of shekels.
The Defense Ministry alleges the seized funds were en route to Hamas, which the U.S. State Department and the European Union have designated a terrorist organization.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, the seizure was carried out after Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order authorizing the action. The report added that this seizure marks the third time within a twelve-month period that Israel has taken over crypto wallets or assets on terrorism funding charges.
Al’matchadun, according to the report, is owned by the Shamlach family which the Defense Ministry says is affiliated with terror networks. In his remarks following the seizure, Gantz is quoted reiterating Israel’s commitment to stopping the flow of funds to Hamas. He said:
We are taking all the possible measures to cut off the economic ‘oxygen supply’ to terror organizations. We continue to expand the tools to cope with terror and the companies that support it. I commend the organizations involved for their intelligence, operational, and legal cooperation. We will continue to take all the measures necessary to fight terror.
New Crypto Transaction Reporting Regulations
Israeli security agencies involved in the seizure of the crypto wallets include the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing in Israel (NBCTF) as well as the national cyber unit of Lahav 433. Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s intelligence division was also a part of the operation.
Before the latest seizure, the NBCTF had previously seized crypto assets such as tether, XRP, and ether — all of which it said were destined for the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.
Israel’s latest seizure of crypto assets comes just a few months after the Authority for Combating Terror Financing and Money Laundering announced new regulations that demand more transparent crypto transaction reports.
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