Binance.US has confirmed that USD withdrawals will "remain fully operational" on the crypto exchange.

Binance Assists Israel to Freeze Hamas-Linked Accounts

  • Binance noted that the move does not affect regular Palestinian users.
  • Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend, leading to an all-out war between both parties.
  • Israeli authorities have seized 190 Hamas-linked accounts on Binance since 2021.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance reportedly collaborated with the cyber division of Israel’s police to freeze some crypto accounts linked to the Hamas group. Binance is said to have helped Israeli authorities identify the accounts.

The Israeli police noted that Hamas used the frozen accounts to solicit funds on social media since they launched their attack on Saturday. Also, several law enforcement agencies collaborated with Binance, including the Ministry of Defense and the Israel Security Agency, for the raid on the accounts.

A Binance spokesperson remarked that the partnership with Israeli authorities was part of its policies to comply with regulators and help fight criminals. The spokesperson said in a statement:

Binance actively partners with global law enforcement agencies and regulators, united in the mission to combat terror financing. Over the past few days, our team has been working in real-time, around the clock, to support ongoing efforts to combat terror financing. We are committed to ensuring the safety and security not just of the blockchain ecosystem but also of the global community through our proactive work.

Binance co-founder Yi He explained that the move was not targeted at regular Palestinian users but only those linked to the Hamas group. He noted that “Hamas is a local militant group. They kill civilians; that’s the problem.”

She wrote in a message posted on WeChat:

Hamas is a designated terrorist organization by the United Nations. Therefore, any organization, including banks and trading platforms, will need to cooperate on the receipt of freeze requests. This is not something Binance can decide on its own.

He’s message on WeChat

Israeli police also partnered with UK law enforcement agents to freeze a Barclays account Hamas had put up for donations. Hamas, like most terrorist organizations, sees cryptocurrencies as a way to navigate financial sanctions.

Hamas called for crypto donations in 2019 as part of its plans to raise funds for its campaigns. However, Israeli authorities have stayed alert to Hamas’s use of cryptocurrencies and have shut down 190 crypto accounts on Binance since 2021. The bulk of these accounts were said to have belonged to Palestinian companies with ties to the terrorist group.

The Al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), the military unit of Hamas, announced the closure of their cryptocurrency donation program, citing government initiatives to track down and penalize donors. Interestingly, data from blockchain security firm Chainalsysis shows that Hamas has successfully secured thousands of dollars in crypto donations.

Israel Relies on Crypto for Donations

Hamas launched a surprise and shocking attack on Israel over the weekend, leaving thousands dead and hundreds displaced. The situation has deteriorated into an all-out war, and Israel’s defense minister has ordered a total shutdown of the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The crypto community reportedly started an initiative called Crypto Aid Israel to raise funds for displaced civilians. The group runs a multi-signature wallet to receive donations in several cryptocurrencies, such as USDC, ETH, USDT, and BTC.

How has the war affected the crypto industry?

Without a doubt, events such as wars affect the global system. The economy is often one of the first victims of conflicts such as the Israel-Palestinian war. Sectors such as oil and aviation have seen some declines in response to the war.

However, there has not been much impact on cryptocurrencies. There’s been some volatility recorded in the past few days. But the decline does not seem to be out of the ordinary. Regardless, many experts believe that a greater escalation of the war could be detrimental even for the crypto industry. So, a quick resolution to the situation is in the world’s best interest.

Lawrence Woriji
Lawrence Woriji Verified Author

I have covered some exciting stories in my career as a journalist and find blockchain-related stories very intriguing. I believe Web3 will change the world and want everyone to be a part of it.

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