Crypto exchange Binance has taken a bold step to freeze accounts associated with Hamas militants, complying with a request from Israeli law enforcement. In a WeChat post dated October 10, Binance’s co-founder, Yi He, clarified that the freeze specifically targets Hamas and not the broader Palestinian population. He emphasized that Hamas is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, mandating cooperation from all entities, including banks and trading platforms, in response to freeze requests. This action is not a unilateral decision by Binance but an obligation in line with global regulations.
Yi He offered further insight, noting that no trading platforms can decline such requests. She explained, “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.”
The move comes after a report by local news outlet Calcalist on October 10 revealed that Israeli authorities, with the assistance of Binance, had frozen the cryptocurrency accounts of Hamas militants. Law enforcement alleges that these accounts were being exploited by terrorists to collect funds for war efforts through social media platforms.
In a related development, the day before this incident, the Israeli Web3 community launched a charity campaign known as “Crypto Aid Israel.” This initiative aims to provide support to Israeli civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict. The campaign accepts donations in Bitcoin, Ether, and various ERC-20 tokens, including Tether. Remarkably, it has already garnered close to $50,000 in crypto donations since its inception.
Yi He reassured the public that everyday users, including Palestinian civilians, would not be affected by this account freeze. She highlighted past instances during conflicts, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, where Binance refrained from freezing the accounts of ordinary citizens.
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