The Israeli government has reportedly confiscated funds in several crypto-accounts allegedly used to sponsor Hezbollah and the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s elite, Quds Force. According to the report, the seizure was initiated after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the operation.
The operation was carried out by the Israeli Police, Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Israel’s military intelligence office, and other authorities. The Defense Minister requested that the funds be placed in the custody of the Israeli government.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group, led since 1992 by its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah was founded in 1982 with the goal of liberating Lebanon from Israeli occupation and to resist Western influence in the Middle East.
The group has been tagged a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom. It maintains a significant presence in Lebanon, where it controls several strongholds in the south and the Bekaa Valley. The group also has a strong social services network, providing healthcare, education, and other services to its supporters.
Due to its operations, it has been isolated from the global financial system to cut the supply of money that sponsors its goal. The Quds Force is also a separate group that has a similar mission as Hezbollah and faces the same fate of being excluded from the global money supply system.
Yoav stated at a conference hosted by the ministry’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF) that the two groups have placed their reliance on using digital assets to receive funds and donations for their operations.
However, the Israeli Officer affirmed that his country has created effective mechanisms to track such funds, extending to other individuals and groups that sponsor terrorism in the world. “Whoever finances terrorism or maintains a financial relationship with terrorist operatives must know that they are targets, just like anyone who directs terrorism,” he said.
This is not the first time the Israeli government has taken steps to seize terror-related accounts of cryptocurrencies. In May 2023, the country took over more than 180 accounts on the Binance exchange. The accounts were said to be linked to Palestinian and Islamist terror groups since 2021.