Israel Seizes Crypto Wallets with Alleged Connections to Hamas

As part of an ongoing campaign against terrorism funding, Israeli officials have confiscated 30 crypto wallets from the Gaza-based exchange Al-Mutahadun.

Wallets Seized from 12 Accounts

The head of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Beni Gantz, gave the green light for the seizure on Monday, February 28. Following this, officials from the Ministry, the Police, and the Military pooled resources for the operation. Together, the joint force took possession of 30 wallets suspected to be affiliated with the Hamas terrorists.

Alongside the wallets, the law enforcement agents seized crypto assets touted to be worth millions of dollars. However, the authorities have declined to reveal further details regarding the operation, such as the types of virtual currencies seized and their proportions.  

In the local report, Gantz commended all involved entities in the operation’s success and affirmed plans to continue combating terrorism. The twelve frozen accounts were all registered on the questionable Al-Mutahadun exchange company, which the Shamlach family heads. In addition, some of the assets confiscated during the seizure belonged to the Shamlachs themselves. This is not the first time the family-owned platform has crossed paths with Israel’s ministry of defense. 

Al-Mutahadun Linked to Hamas

Last year the company was accused of helping to bolster the militant faction of the terrorist group. According to the ministry of defense, the exchange provided aid by transferring up to tens of millions of dollars each year.

In 2021, the authorities impounded 23 tons of chocolate meant to be sold in Israel. The  Al-Mutahadun crypto exchange platform and Arab Training Company China, two Shamlach-owned companies, were behind the importation. After looking into the case, the government alleged that the proceeds were intended to be donated to the Hamas terrorist organization.

It also recognized that Hamas had been receiving crypto donations since 2019, with Bitcoin and Tether featuring well among the terrorist organization’s coffers. As a result, the Israeli government has zeroed in on crypto-based financial sources aiding the terrorist group over the past few years.

In December, Israeli officials took hold of cryptocurrency from 47 individuals. Additionally, in July, law enforcement agents conducted a similar operation confiscating 84 addresses this time. These wallets had received virtual assets worth almost $7.8 million.

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All over the world, regulatory agencies and institutions have begun to keep a closer watch on the crypto space. At the moment, there is a widespread crack-down on malicious activities and crypto-related crimes as regulatory policies become more evident.

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