Hamas-Linked Crypto Accounts Frozen by Israeli Police, With Binance's Help: Report

Israeli authorities had previously seized around 190 Binance accounts with alleged ties to terrorist groups.

AccessTimeIconOct 10, 2023 at 10:10 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 10, 2023 at 11:46 a.m. UTC
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Israeli police have frozen cryptocurrency accounts linked to Palestinian militant group Hamas, local media outlet Calcalist reported Tuesday, citing an official press statement.

A multi-pronged attack on Israel by Hamas over the weekend has broken into all-out war, with the former’s defense minister ordering a complete siege of the Palestinian enclave Gaza.

The cyber arm of Israel Police's Lahav 433 unit worked with the country’s defense ministry, intelligence agencies and crypto exchange Binance to target the accounts in question, according to the report. It added that any funds seized are destined for the Israeli national treasury.

A lawsuit filed against Binance’s CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao by the U.S. Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) in March alleges the firm’s officers knew of "HAMAS transactions" on the platform.

Israeli authorities had previously seized around 190 Binance accounts with alleged links to terrorist groups since 2021. Binance worked with Israeli authorities before to take down “a terrorism financing operation linked to Iran’s Quds Force and Hezbollah,” the firm said in June.

"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 the global community, through our proactive work," a spokesperson for Binance said in an email to CoinDesk.

UPDATE (Oct. 10, 11:46 UTC): Adds comment from Binance spokesperson.

Edited by Sandali Handagama and Parikshit Mishra.

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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.


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