Militant Arm of Hamas Aims at Using Bitcoin to Fight Against Financial Isolation
Hamas, the current ruling authority on the Gaza Strip in Palestine, asked supporters to send Bitcoin (BTC) in order to fund their operations. The information was released through their official Telegram channel by Abu Obeida on January 29.
Hamas has been considered a terrorist organization by several countries all over the world. That includes international organizations and nations such as the United States or the European Union (EU). Some powers that did not recognize Hamas as a terrorist entity are Russia, Turkey or China, among others.
Abu Obeida asked ‘all lovers of the resistance’ and supporters of the group to send payments using Bitcoin as a means of payment.
On the matter, he wrote:
“The Zionist enemy is fighting the resistance by trying to cut its support by all means, but the resistance lovers in all the world are fighting these Zionist attempts and are seeking to find all possible support for the resistance.”
Israel and Egypt have imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip where Hamas is currently operating. This creates a very difficult situation for the movement of people and goods. The decision to embrace Bitcoin came after the decision taken by Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to freeze millions of dollars of aid. This included $15 million to pay salaries of Hamas civil servants.
Banking institutions in several countries do not offer services to Palestinian individuals and people living in the region. The organization is finding it very difficult to deal with this issue.
Several governments and regulatory agencies are starting to pay close attention to crypto activities. Digital assets can be clearly used to finance illegal organizations, including terrorist groups.
This is not the first time that a terrorist group has been trying to raise funds using the most popular digital asset. The Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have attempted to gather funds using cryptocurrencies, however, with a very limited impact. Cash transactions are still the best way to process anonymous transactions.