Binance Grants Israel's Request to Freeze Hamas-Linked Account but There's Catch

Binance Grants Israel’s Request to Freeze Hamas-Linked Accounts but There’s Catch

UTC by Mayowa Adebajo · 3 min read
Binance Grants Israel’s Request to Freeze Hamas-Linked Accounts but There’s Catch
Photo: Shutterstock

Having frozen the accounts with Binance’s help, however, the funds are now expected to be transferred to the state treasury.

Israeli authorities have asked crypto exchange Binance to freeze all accounts on its platform that may be linked to Hamas militants. The instruction is in line with the current state of unrest between the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and the Hamas militia.

Binance and Hamas-Linked Accounts

As of Wednesday, the crypto platform did oblige by freezing all such accounts that fit Israel’s description. However, it also shared details of the move in a lengthy WeChat post by Binance co-founder Yi He.

According to the post, Binance did not do anything out of the ordinary, and neither is the platform taking sides in the ongoing war. However, any platform such as its own must cooperate with freeze requests in cases like this. More so, since the Hamas group is already “a designated terrorist organization by the United Nations,” the post said.

To this end, He clarified that the decision was totally out of the hands of Binance or any other trading platform like itself.

More about the freeze, Yi He also explained that it is targeted at Hamas and not the Palestine people. So, this means that the freeze will not affect Binance accounts owned by regular Palestinian civilians. She recalled a similar action when the Russian-Ukraine situation deteriorated, noting that Binance did not freeze the accounts of ordinary Russians. The post reads in part:

“Palestine has an organized government. Hamas is a local militant group. They kill civilians; that’s the problem. Hamas is not Palestine; the freeze is targeted towards Hamas, not Palestine.”

Crypto Donations in War

Meanwhile, it might be worth mentioning that crypto donations are gradually becoming synonymous with war times. According to an earlier report from local media Calcalist, Hamas had launched a fund-raising campaign on social networks. The group of militants reportedly asked the public to make crypto donations into their accounts. However, in a concerted effort by the Lahav 433’s cyber unit, the National Headquarters for Economic Warfare against Terrorism (MTL) of the Ministry of Defense, and other intelligence agencies, the accounts have immediately been located, Calcalist reports.

Having frozen the accounts with Binance’s help, however, the funds are now expected to be transferred to the state treasury.

Similarly,  the local Web3 community in Israel also reportedly launched a relief campaign to help Israeli civilians affected by the ongoing situation. Dubbed “Crypto Aid Israel,” the initiative supports both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) donations, along with other ERC-20 tokens such as Tether (USDT). Since going live, the movement has raked in nearly $50,000 in crypto donations.

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