Israeli court rules authorities can seize crypto from 150 blacklisted wallets

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court has reportedly issued a ruling allowing the Israeli government to seize all crypto from more than 150 digital wallets it has blacklisted for allegedly funding terrorist groups.

According to a local Israeli media on December 18 reportIsraeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the December 15 court ruling had already allowed authorities to seize an additional $33,500 from digital wallets linked to the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Before the court ruling, Israeli authorities were only legally allowed to seize digital assets with direct links to terrorist activities, but not additional funds in the same wallets. In December 2021, authorities seized $750,000 from the wallets.

The de facto ruling authority of the Gaza Strip in Palestine since 2007, Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization in whole or in part by several countries and international blocs, including the United States, the European Union, Israel and the United Kingdom. .

From January 2019, Hamas began appeal to his supporters to send funds using Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of combating sanctions and financial isolation.

Gantz signed an order on July 9, 2021, authorizing security forces to seize crypto accounts with alleged links to the militant wing of Hamas.

Related: Israel’s Chief Economist Outlines Recommendations for Crypto Regulation

Authorities disclosed at the time the accounts contained Tether (USDT), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), XRP (XRP), Binance Coin (BNB), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (SLD) and other altcoins.

In February, 30 crypto wallets from 12 Hamas-linked exchange accounts were seized by Israeli authorities as well as.

The exact value of the seized crypto assets has not been publicly disclosed.

Crypto has been shown to have a relatively minor role in fundraising for terrorist groups. In early 2022, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis determined only one small portion of crypto funds are used in criminal activities.