Hamas Asks Supporters to Send Funds via Bitcoin

Published January 31st, 2019 - 09:11 GMT
“Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency,” Hamas said, adding the exact mechanism would be announced later. (Shutterstock)
“Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency,” Hamas said, adding the exact mechanism would be announced later. (Shutterstock)

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel and faces financial isolation, called on supporters Tuesday to send funds via Bitcoin.

A spokesman for the movement’s military wing sent out a message calling for support to be sent in the virtual currency.

“Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency,” it said, adding the exact mechanism would be announced later.

Hamas runs the Gaza Strip but is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and others.

It has faced financial woes in recent years as banks have sought to ensure they have no dealings with the organization.

The statement accused Israel of seeking to cut Hamas’s access to finance.

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Hamas officials say its military wing receives significant support from Iran, although the routes through which these funds are transferred are opaque.

Bitcoin has faced criticism in the past over underground websites where people have used the currency to buy drugs and guns.

There was no immediate reply from Bitcoin.

Abbas accepts govt resignation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of his government Tuesday, in a reshuffle seen as a bid by the ageing leader to strengthen his position as a decade-old political split deepens.

Analysts view replacing Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah after five years as part of Abbas’s efforts to further isolate his political rivals Hamas.

Hamdallah’s government will remain in place while a new administration is formed.

“The government of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted on Tuesday its resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas,” official news agency Wafa said in English following a cabinet meeting.

Late Tuesday a Wafa statement confirmed Abbas had accepted the resignation, but asked the government to continue “conducting business until the formation of a new government.”

It said Abbas, 83, saw a new government as a step toward parliamentary elections, which have not been held since 2006 due to the political schism.

It was unclear how the change of government could impact on policy. 


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