Japanese Government Sanctions Crypto Exchange Linked to Hamas
The Japanese government has taken action to freeze the assets of nine Hamas operatives and a cryptocurrency trading company that were involved in financing the terrorist organization. This decision was reached during a cabinet meeting on the 31st October, Yonhap News reported.
Governments Sanction Exchanges for Financing Hamas
Hamas, a Palestinian armed political faction, has been involved in ongoing conflict with Israel, which Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has labeled as terrorism.
Japan’s sanctions, which come into effect immediately, are intended to disrupt the flow of funds to Hamas.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, in a press conference, emphasized the government’s commitment to counter-terrorism financing measures.
“We will continue to review sanctions targets from the perspective of countermeasures against terrorist financing.”
This action by the Japanese government closely follows similar measures taken by the United States. On the 18th, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on individuals and organizations with links to the Palestine-based militant group.
These sanctions targeted nine individuals and one entity based in various countries, including the Gaza Strip, and were driven by allegations of terrorist associations.
Crypto Raised by Hamas Reported Out of Proportion
Earlier, a Wall Street Journal report claimed that Hamas received over $41 million in crypto donations in the lead up to the attack on Israel on October 7. The report was then cited by US lawmakers in congress to curb crypto in terror financing.
However, these reports were then later refuted by the blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The blockchain analytic firm reported that there is no evidence to support the assertion that Hamas received significant volumes of crypto donations.
Analytics firm Chainalysis also put out a report questioning the accuracy of recent reports regarding the extent of cryptocurrency’s role in terrorist financing.