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Hamas’ Armed Wing to Stop Accepting Bitcoin Donations (Report)

Summary:
The armed wing of the alleged terrorist organization Hamas – Al-Qassam Brigades – will reportedly stop receiving donations in bitcoin out of concern for the safety of the contributors.  The Israeli authorities have previously estimated that the entity funded some of its military campaigns through cryptocurrencies. The Defence Ministry seized over 100 digital wallets associated with the group over the past few years. Going Back to Traditional Methods A local media outlet reported that the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement will no longer obtain contributions via bitcoin: a method that the organization had used for years. The main reason behind the move seems to be the enhanced protection of donors. “This comes out of concern about the safety of donors and to

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The armed wing of the alleged terrorist organization Hamas – Al-Qassam Brigades – will reportedly stop receiving donations in bitcoin out of concern for the safety of the contributors. 

The Israeli authorities have previously estimated that the entity funded some of its military campaigns through cryptocurrencies. The Defence Ministry seized over 100 digital wallets associated with the group over the past few years.

Going Back to Traditional Methods

A local media outlet reported that the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement will no longer obtain contributions via bitcoin: a method that the organization had used for years. The main reason behind the move seems to be the enhanced protection of donors.

“This comes out of concern about the safety of donors and to spare them any harm,” Al-Qassam Brigades explained.

Gaza economist Mohammad Abu Jayyab believes the organization has stopped crypto donations, fearing that Israel’s agencies could identify the people who transferred funds this way or reach their wallets. He also suggested that Al-Qassam Brigades aimed to shift to traditional finance methods or figured out more advanced options.

According to numerous countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, Hamas is a terrorist group, meaning it is illegal to provide them with funds, training, or any kind of military support. 

The US authorities halted the combined attempt of Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State to raise funds via digital assets and confiscated $2 million worth of crypto in 2020.

According to Reuters, the Palestinian organization received most bitcoin donations from the Muslim world, the majority of which support its fight against Israel. 

Israel’s Counter-Attack

Multiple sources have claimed over the years that Hamas has been using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, and Tether, in their terrorist actions. Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing carried out a successful operation against the group in 2021, seizing 84 digital wallets linked to it. 

The London-based blockchain analysis provider – Elliptic – determined that these addresses received over $7.7 million worth of crypto. However, it pointed out that not all of the funds should be connected with terrorism:

“Some of the addresses are part of larger services, and not all of these funds may be associated with terrorism. When calculating this figure, we excluded funds sent to addresses known to be used by services such as exchanges to receive deposits from multiple users.”

The Defence Ministry of Israel partnered with the police and the military to conduct another operation against Hamas a year later. The collaboration confiscated 30 cryptocurrency wallets from 12 accounts belonging to al-Mutahadun: an exchange that allegedly financed the Palestinian entity.

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