Israel-Gaza Conflict Spurs Bitcoin Donations to Hamas
The bloody conflict between Israel and Gaza has sparked an influx in Bitcoin donations to Hamas, according to senior Hamas officials. The Palestinian militant group has effectively used the bitcoin technology to circumvent international sanctions and fund its military operations. The international attention that was garnered by the recent fighting attracted more donors and views to websites run by Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. A senior official states that the money is used for military purposes and is designed to defend the basic rights of the Palestinians.
Hamas currently maintains control over the Gaza Strip and has been deemed a terrorist entity by the US, the EU, and other Western nations. This means that Hamas faces sanctions that pushed it to convert methods of financing outside of the traditional banking system, resorting to cryptocurrency donations as they are anonymous and transactions are harder to trace. Last year, US federal authorities seized more than $1 million in cryptocurrency tied to the al-Qassam Brigades.