There has been an increase in donations to charities linked to Hamas following the resistance group’s attack on Israel on October 7.
According to Israeli officials, the surge in donations is estimated to be around 70%, CNBC reported on Tuesday.
The report noted that the exact amount of money cannot be independently confirmed.
Stopping the flow of funds to Hamas is challenging due to the dispersed nature of the charity groups involved and their ability to change names and structures frequently.
The report said that foreign funds have reached Hamas through three main channels, including direct support from Iran, the informal Islamic banking system known as Hawala, and cryptocurrency.
Iran has reportedly provided Hamas with an annual cash infusion of $70 million to $100 million for military purposes.
Additionally, Hamas has diverted foreign aid intended for the citizens of Gaza to construct an extensive network of tunnels and bunkers.
The Hawala system, based on trust rather than traditional banking, facilitates the movement of money without reliance on Western-style financial institutions.
While some funds channeled through Hawala are intended for humanitarian needs in Gaza, Israel claims that a significant portion is diverted for military purposes by Hamas.
Cryptocurrency has also emerged as a major source of funding for Hamas, with both charitable contributions and direct contributions being made.
Tron, a cryptocurrency company, has been accused of evading Israeli requests to cut off accounts and has been linked to operating in Iran.
Binance, in particular, has been credited for complying with requests.
However, the recent $4.3 billion settlement between Binance and U.S. authorities highlights allegations of failure to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorist groups such as Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades.
Back in October, blockchain analytics company Elliptic refuted claims that Hamas received millions in crypto donations.
In a blog post, the company said there is “no evidence to support the assertion that Hamas has received significant volumes of crypto donations.”
The report came in response to a an article published in The Wall Street Journal last week titled “Hamas Militants Behind Israel Attack Raised Millions in Crypto,” which alleged that Hamas raised over $130 million in cryptocurrency between August 2021 and June 2022.
The Wall Street Journal article has been referenced by US lawmakers including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who co-signed a letter with over 100 members of Congress urging the White House and Treasury Department to crack down on cryptocurrencies due to their alleged use in funding Hamas operations.
However, Elliptic revealed that the data has been misinterpreted.
“There is no evidence to suggest that crypto fundraising has raised anything close to this amount,” the analytics firm wrote in its blog post.