Category Archives: Gaza Strip

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Hamas Adopts New Detection Avoidance Tactics In Bitcoin Fundraiser

In a story being followed by Bitcoin News, further developments in Hamas attempts to raise fund via Bitcoin have resulted in the mechanism for receiving payments being changed.

Hamas have now switched to a system which requires a new digital wallet generated for each donation rather than donors sending Bitcoin to a single digital address, or wallet, in an attempt to cover their tracks.

Hamas, the de-facto ruling authority of the Gaza Strip in Palestine, is regarded by several countries, including the US and the EU, as a terrorist organization. Russia, Turkey, and China are among those major world powers who do not subscribe to the definition.

The original Hamas request for Bitcoin funds in February was made as a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze millions of dollars in Qatari aid – including USD 15 million a month to pay the salaries of Hamas civil servants.

Since then, Hamas has been put on the back foot by both the US Government and Israeli intelligence since they broadcast their requests for Bitcoins. Although Hamas has made no comments about how they now access donors, Elliptic research claims that between 26 March and 16 April, BTC 0.6 — worth around USD 3,300 — was sent to the website-created wallets. Elliptic uses a database of information linking digital coin addresses to exchanges, darkweb marketplaces, and proscribed groups to track cryptocurrencies.

Clearly, Hamas has no concerns regarding their proscribed designation and until now have been suggesting to donors that they “use a public device so that the wallet is not linked to your IP address”, using step-by-step instructions in Arabic on how supporters can avoid fiat based systems and donate in Bitcoin.

 

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Hamas Bid for Bitcoin Donations Struggles to Get Off Ground

Hamas Bid for Bitcoin Donations Struggles to Get Off Ground

The fundamentalist Palestinian organization Hamas is to continue its call for cryptocurrency donations which has only resulted in a meager few thousand dollars since its call for funding two months ago.

Hamas, the de-facto ruling authority of the Gaza Strip in Palestine, is regarded by several countries, including the US and the EU, as a terrorist organization. Russia, Turkey, and China are among those major world powers who do not subscribe to the definition.

The original Hamas request for Bitcoin funds in February was made as a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze millions of dollars in Qatari aid – including USD 15 million a month to pay the salaries of Hamas civil servants. Gazan journalist and lecturer Hussam Al-Dajany has reiterated the need for support in another call for funding this week but this time claiming this “just Palestinian cause… can indirectly participate in the liberation of the Al Aqsa Mosque”.

Former CIA analyst Yaya Fanusie has suggested that Hamas has made some progress in setting up its donations project despite having struggled to raise the funds it needs and says that the Hamas website is currently “generating unique (bitcoin) addresses for each site visitor”. He adds:

“This method will make it harder for authorities to identify and track donations, and shows that Hamas is more careful about cryptocurrency operational security.”

Despite these moves, Hamas has numerous hurdles to overcome in raising cryptocurrency funding. Coinbase and other major exchanges have been put on alert to ensure that known Hamas addresses are not used for transactions, although this in itself won’t be simple as fresh addresses are likely to be created by Hamas to confuse the exchanges.

Bitcoin does have traceability issues though, which is certain to make the Hamas call for funds challenging. The creation of a unique address on the Hamas website will shield the recipient, but won’t anonymize the sender. This is sure to make potential donors wary, as it appears to have done so far.

 

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