The attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7 has heightened scrutiny on how the Islamist militant group was able to mount a sophisticated attack that saw more than 2,000 rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza strip, according to a report by Deutsche Welle, which said analysts believe “cryptocurrencies played a significant role” because Hamas has long been classed as a terrorist organisation and hit with bans that exclude it from the international banking system.
A crypto analytics and software firm based in Tel Aviv called BitOK alleged that Hamas received $41 million between August 2021 and June 2023, while the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose fighters joined the attack, received $93 million in crypto, the UK-based crypto researcher Elliptic claimed, according to the report. Elliptic also said Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, had received millions in bitcoin and other crypto transfers.
Even with international sanctions, Hamas was named by Forbes in 2014 as one of the wealthiest terror groups, partly because of support from countries such as Iran (which the US says provides $100m a year to such groups), plus Qatar and Turkey, and donors in the Gulf region, the report said, adding that multiple digital accounts linked to Hamas have been cut off since the attack, which left a death toll of about 1,400 in Israel and 2,600 in Gaza, while half a million Palestinians have fled from northern Gaza as Israel warns of a ground attack to eliminate its enemies.
Read the full report: DW.