Hamas’ armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, has reportedly ceased receiving bitcoin donations due to concerns over the safety of donors. The Israeli authorities seized over 100 digital wallets linked to the entity over the past few years and previously estimated that it funded some of its military campaigns through cryptocurrencies. According to a local media outlet, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement will no longer obtain contributions via bitcoin for the enhanced protection of donors. Gaza economist Mohammad Abu Jayyab believes the organization stopped crypto donations due to fears that Israel’s agencies could track the people who transferred funds or reach their wallets, and suggested that Al-Qassam Brigades aimed to shift to traditional finance methods or figured out more advanced options.
“This comes out of concern about the safety of donors and to spare them any harm,” Al-Qassam Brigades explained.
Due to Hamas being a terrorist group in various countries, including the US and UK, it is illegal to provide them with funds, training, or any form of military support. In 2020, US authorities seized $2 million worth of crypto raised through a combined attempt by Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State to raise funds via digital assets. The Palestinian organization reportedly received most bitcoin donations from the Muslim world, with the majority supporting its fight against Israel, according to Reuters.
Multiple sources have claimed that Hamas has been using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, and Tether for their terrorist actions. Elliptic, a London-based blockchain analysis provider, determined that Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing successfully seized 84 digital wallets linked to Hamas in 2021, which received over $7.7 million worth of crypto. However, not all of the funds should be connected to terrorism, as some of the addresses are part of larger services and not all the funds were sent to addresses known to be used by services such as exchanges to receive deposits from multiple users. In another operation against Hamas, the Defence Ministry of Israel collaborated with the police and military to confiscate 30 cryptocurrency wallets from 12 accounts belonging to al-Mutahadun, an exchange that allegedly financed the Palestinian entity.