Binance Helps Israel Freeze Hamas Crypto Accounts
The US labels Hamas a terrorist organization, subject to Treasury Department sanctions blocking its access to banking.
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Crypto exchange Binance assisted Israeli authorities in freezing crypto accounts affiliated with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Israel police reported today.
“Over the past few days, our team has been working in real-time, around the clock, to support ongoing efforts,” a Binance spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal regarding the latest account freezes.
The police’s cyber unit Lahav 433 worked with Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) and other intelligence agencies to identify and freeze Hamas crypto accounts that were being used to crowdfund donations via social media campaigns.
“Hamas launched a fundraising campaign on social media, asking the public to deposit crypto coins into its account,” the police statement said, according to a translation by CryptoBriefing. “The cyber unit and NBCTF acted immediately to locate the accounts and freeze them, with the assistance of the Binance crypto exchange.”
This isn’t the first time Binance has aided Israeli authorities. Israeli officials had previously seized around 190 Binance accounts associated with terrorist groups since 2021.
Last June, Binance worked with Israel to dismantle “a terrorism financing operation linked to Iran’s Quds Force and Hezbollah,” the exchange stated.
Crypto analytics firm BitOK estimated that wallets connected to Hamas received approximately $41 million between August 2021 and June of this year.
The cooperation comes as Binance faces growing regulatory scrutiny globally. In March, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance for violations that hinted at potential criminal activity, including money laundering.