Israeli law enforcement authorities have ordered a freeze on hundreds of cryptocurrency accounts and seized millions of dollars’ worth of crypto in order to block the flow of funds to Hamas, Financial Times reported.
The crackdown primarily targets cryptocurrency accounts on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Since the onset of Hamas’s assault on October 7, more than 100 accounts on Binance have been closed, and authorities have sought information on approximately 200 additional crypto accounts, the majority of which are held on Binance.
Tom Alexandrovich, the executive director at the Israel National Cyber Directorate, emphasized on the increasing significance of cryptocurrencies in financing terror during wartime.
The amount of crypto funds involved has surged significantly since the conflict began earlier this month.
Tether Freezes 32 Addresses Linked to Terrorism Funding
Additionally, Tether, a widely used digital token in the crypto market, announced that it had frozen 32 addresses containing over $873,000, which were linked to “terrorism and warfare” in both Israel and Ukraine.
However, the exact details of when these accounts were blocked and the distribution of assets between the two countries were not disclosed.
Israeli authorities have identified approximately 150 donation initiatives associated with Hamas and other groups since October 7.
The Israeli police force confirmed it had frozen multiple accounts used for Hamas fundraising but did not comment on the actions taken against Binance.
The connection between cryptocurrency and terrorism financing is not a new concern, and US financial regulators have previously alleged links between money held on Binance and Hamas.
CFTC Lawsuit Claims Binance Was Aware of Hamas-Linked Transactions
In March, a lawsuit by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission claimed that senior Binance executives had received information regarding Hamas transactions in 2019.
Israeli authorities have been monitoring cryptocurrency accounts suspected of links to terrorism financing for some time, and these efforts have intensified since the recent conflict. The scale of these actions, particularly concerning Binance, has grown significantly.
To enhance their efforts, Israeli authorities are also leveraging public assistance to identify and track suspicious fund flows in the crypto market.
Since 2021, Israeli authorities have seized over millions in crypto accounts that they suspected of having links to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.