The Israeli Ministry of Defense has seized digital wallets containing cryptocurrencies that are allegedly intended to fund Palestinian militant group Hamas.
According to a press statement issued by the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel (NBCTF), Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz has signed a seizure order for 30 wallets that contained tens of thousands of Shekels linked to 12 different accounts.
This would be the third instance in a year that the minister has signed a cryptocurrency seizure linked to Hamas.
The release stated that a portion of the seized crypto was owned by the Gazan Shamalch family. The rest belonged to businesses that “assisted the Al'matchadun currency exchange company belonging to the Shamalch family declared by the Defense Minister as a terror organization,” according to the release.
The NBCTF has also stated that the currency exchange companies that the Shamalch family owns “assist the Hamas terror organization, particularly its military arm, by transferring funds in scopes of dozens of million dollars annually”.
Back in May 2021, both companies owned by Zuhir Yunes Shamalch; Al-Markaziya li-siarafa and Arab Trading Company China, were designated as terrorist organizations, according to an order that Gantz signed.
He accused them of facilitating transfers to the Hamas military wing each year with the value of over tens of millions of dollars.
The minister continues to target the Iran-Hamas axis and eliminate the funding channels that aid in serving the terrorist organisations. It looks likely that Australia will follow suit after recently announcing it will too list ‘Hamas’ as a terrorist group.