Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has taken swift action in compliance with Israeli law enforcement’s request by freezing accounts associated with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. This move showcases the exchange’s dedication to preventing the misuse of its platform for illicit activities and ensuring compliance with international regulations.
Hamas Illegally Collected Funds In Digital Assets
As per a report by a local media outlet Calcalist, Hamas allegedly used the digital assets accounts to collect donations via social media platforms. While the war between Palestine and Israel escalates, the militant group launched fund-raising campaigns, demanding cryptocurrencies from individuals. However, this got the attention of the cybercrime unit, who with the help of Binance was able to identify and freeze the accounts.
The freezing of the account serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges in maintaining a balance between user privacy, decentralized principles, and global legal requirements. Binance, as a major player in the crypto space, demonstrates its commitment to responsible and lawful practices by cooperating with authorities in addressing potential security threats.
In addition to the freezing of the accounts, Israeli law enforcement agencies have also redirected the seized funds to the state treasury. Meanwhile, the outbreak of the war has prompted several cryptocurrency companies to launch Crypto Aid Israel, a fundraiser that aims to assist displaced Israeli citizens in need of humanitarian help.
Terrorists Seek Refuge in Crypto
In January 2019, the Palestinian militant organization began to make appeals to their supporters, inciting them to show solidarity by donating Bitcoin (BTC). With such donations, Hamas was sure that it would evade sanctions and outgrow financial isolation. It was after this time that Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order equipping the authorities to seize crypto accounts of entities with connection to the military arm of Hamas.
During a special meeting organized by the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) Svetlana Martynova, the Countering Financing of Terrorism Coordinator at the UN opined that terrorists especially those on financial sanctions, have turned to cryptocurrency to perpetrate their illicit affairs.
Binance CEO Offers to Help Track Huobi’s Stolen Funds
Recall that last month, HTX exchange, formerly known as Huobi disclosed a security breach that led to an $8 million loss.
Binance’s CEO CZ enlisted the assistance of the Binance security team to aid in the pursuit of $8 million in stolen funds. With a generous offer for a security check, CZ playfully remarked on the resemblance between the newly branded HTX and well well-known cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.