Following a directive from Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, the Israeli government confiscated the cryptocurrency wallets.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant revealed that he personally issued a command to seize the digital assets and transfer them to the Israeli government. He characterized the operation as comprehensive, involving various entities such as the Mossad intelligence agency, military intelligence, the Israeli police, and other relevant agencies. This marks Israel’s inaugural endeavor to target Hezbollah and the Quds Force in such a manner.
In a joint effort between the Israeli government and Chainalysis, approximately $1.7 million worth of cryptocurrency has been confiscated from wallets associated with the Iranian military and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group. This development was confirmed by the Defence Minister and corroborated by the crypto investigation firm involved in the operation.
The cryptocurrency funds were earmarked for usage by the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, as well as the elite paramilitary unit, Quds Force, belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. These two groups have been classified as terrorist organizations by the United States and certain other governments, consequently being excluded from the traditional global financial system.
According to Defence Minister Gallant, this marks the first significant occurrence of its kind. He stated, “We have successfully severed the flow of funds for terrorism through this particular channel.”
Gallant highlighted that Hezbollah and the Quds Force unlawfully employed virtual currencies as a means to receive financial support from external sources for their militant endeavors. The seizure conducted by Israel serves as a strong cautionary message to anyone involved in financing terrorism, indicating that Israel possesses the capability to detect and expose those engaged in such transactions.