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Israel's Historic Operation Seizes Millions in Cryptocurrency Funding Terrorism

Unprecedented Collaboration and Technological Expertise Disrupt Illicit Financial Transactions

Sun, 02 Jul 2023, 11:52 am UTC

An extensive operation that transcended departmental boundaries has led to the confiscation of millions in digital currency aimed at funding acts of terrorism, as revealed by Israel's National Bureau for Counter-Terrorist Financing. The historic event took place a few days before June 28.

The operation's success is attributed to the unprecedented collaborative efforts between Israel's defense and justice ministries, intelligence units, and cutting-edge technological platforms. The partnership was lauded by the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, during a recent conference.

The operation significantly disrupted the financial transactions of known terrorist organizations, namely Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force. According to Gallant, this is the most substantial confiscation of crypto assets from these entities to date. This operation has succeeded in blocking the primary conduit of illicit funds to these organizations.

Furthermore, Gallant shed light on the modus operandi of Hezbollah, Quds Force, and certain "Syrian elements." These groups primarily utilized cryptocurrency to orchestrate unlawful financial transactions with third-party money changers. These revelations indicate a significant shift in the terrorism financing landscape towards digital currencies.

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis collaborated with Israeli authorities and played a significant role in the successful completion of the operation. The firm reported that it managed to seize around $1.7 million.

Interestingly, this is not the first operation of its kind. Previously, the Palestinian Sunni organization, Hamas, reversed its policy of accepting cryptocurrency donations, citing concerns over donor safety. This decision came after intensified attempts by external forces to hinder support for their resistance movement via digital currency.

Moreover, local media reported that Israel has successfully seized approximately 190 Binance accounts associated with the Islamic State and Hamas since 2021. Despite these reports, Binance claimed that critical facts were purposely overlooked.

In the ever-evolving landscape of terrorism and counter-terrorism, this operation marks a significant milestone. Through the effective use of technology and collaboration, Israel has taken a considerable step towards disrupting the financial lifelines of terrorist organizations.

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