Israel recently announced that it aims to seize cryptocurrency accounts used by the Palestinian Hamas group.
After Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said to Israeli security forces on Thursday to clutch the accounts after a joint operation, the ministry stated that a web of electronic wallets were uncovered, used by Hamas to raise funds using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
It further said that Hamas has been conducting an online campaign to raise donations for its military wing, efforts that were enhanced after the 11-day war in Gaza in May this year.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are favored for illicit transactions because they are hard to trace.
“The intelligence, technological and legal tools that enable us to get our hands on terrorists’ money around the world constitute an operational breakthrough,” Gantz repeated saying.
Hamas was democratically elected in 2006 and apprehended control of the Gaza Strip a year later from its rival Palestinian party Fatah, after the latter attempted a preemptive coup.
Since then, Israel has pursued four major offensives on the inundated enclave, killing thousands of civilians. The latest one took place in May, killing 260 Palestinians, including at least 66 children. On the Israeli side, 13 people were killed, including two children.
A shaky ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, has been violated several times over the past month, with Israeli fighter jets targeting several areas it says belong to Hamas military sites.