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Israeli Court Rules Authorities can Seize Crypto in 150 Blacklisted Wallets

Following an Israeli court ruling, over 150 crypto wallets blacklisted for alleged links to terror group funding can now be drained of all funds.

According to reports, Tel Aviv’s Magistrate Court issued a ruling allowing Israel’s government to seize all crypto in more than 150 digital wallets that it had blacklisted for allegedly funding terrorist groups.

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

Prior to the court ruling, Israeli authorities could only seize digital assets that were directly linked to terrorist activity, not additional funds in the same wallets. Authorities seized $750,000 from the wallets in December 2021.

Since 2007, Hamas has been the de facto ruling authority in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. Several countries and international blocs, including the United States, European Union, Israel, and the United Kingdom, have designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation in whole or in part.

Beginning in January 2019, Hamas began urging its supporters to send funds via Bitcoin in order to avoid sanctions and financial isolation.

On July 9, 2021, Gantz signed an order authorising security forces to seize crypto accounts with alleged ties to Hamas’ militant wing.

At the time, authorities revealed that the accounts held Tether, Ether, Dogecoin, XRP, Binance Coin, Zcash, Litecoin, and other altcoins. Israeli authorities also seized 30 crypto wallets from 12 exchange accounts linked to Hamas in February.

The exact value of the crypto assets seized was not made public.

Cryptocurrency has been shown to play a minor role in terrorist fundraising. Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm, discovered that only a small portion of crypto funds are used in criminal activity in early 2022.

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