Israel Seizes Crypto Accounts It Claims Belong to Hamas, ISIS

Israel Seizes Crypto Accounts It Claims Belong to Hamas, ISIS

The Israeli government is taking action against crypto accounts it has deemed suspicious, closing down dozens on one of the largest platforms for the digital currency.

Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) has seized around 190 accounts on Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, for alleged ties to the Palestinian organisation Hamas, according to a report by Reuters based on documents released by the country’s anti-terror authorities. Israel also claimed that two of the accounts belonged to the extremist group ISIS.

Israeli authorities recently announced that they confiscated over half a million Israeli shekels in digital currencies from accounts it claims fall under “currency exchange companies in the service of Hamas.” Under Israeli law, the ministry has the right to seize and confiscate property it deems could be linked to terrorism activities.

One of the documents states that the Israeli foreign ministry deemed this necessary to “thwart the activity of the terrorist organisation the Islamic State (ISIS) and impair its ability to further its goals.”

The crypto firm Binance responded to Reuters’ report, claiming that the news organisation was “leaving out critical facts to fit their narrative.” In its statement, Binance claimed that it had been working closely with counter-terrorism authorities to support their investigations and seize the allegedly suspicious accounts. The company also stated that its policies comply with “anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing requirements.”

Binance does not want to be associated with the groups mentioned by the Reuters report, clarifying that “bad actors don’t register accounts under the names of their criminal enterprises.” Therefore, the company wouldn’t have known who the accounts belonged to.

The cryptocurrency platform has been under fire recently after being sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allegedly breaking price trading rules.

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