According to Israeli blockchain intelligence startup, Whitestream, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas is scrounging for bitcoin donations due to the financial isolation it’s suffering as a result of US and Israeli economic sanctions.
Whitestream say that the military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, posted two bitcoin addresses on their official website. The first address received funds from a Coinbase wallet, while the second appears to be unrelated to Coinbase.
Hamas is reportedly on the brink of insolvency after the Palestinian National Authority cut off much of its funding to the Strip. In an announcement published on the group’s Telegram account recently, the spokesperson of the Hamas military wing revealed difficulties in getting funds for the Palestinian resistance.
They begged in a statement: “Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency.”
Bitcoin Contributors In Hamas Could Face Jail
Hamas also accused Israel of trying to cut off its access to funds around the world while the Times of Israel joked that there “was no immediate reply from Bitcoin”.
Whitestream said they could not share all of their analysis regarding how they reached the conclusion these were bitcoin addresses from Coinbase or Binance, but “everything is proven because it is on the Blockchain, and we are a Blockchain analysis company.”
Two minor Bitcoin donations amounting to around $2500 were made within the two days after the first address was published. One of the donations was sent from a trader in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, while the other one came from a wallet “connected” to Binance and Russian cryptocurrency exchange, Vilkov. These transactions do not necessarily mean that the exchanges support Hamas, but rather that its users withdrew funds directly to Hamas’ address.
However, the USA, the EU and Israel have designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation, so citizens of those countries could be open to prosecution if they send cryptocurrencies to Hamas. Citizens of Russia, China and Turkey are free to donate because those countries do not regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
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