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Israeli authorities seize Hamas linked crypto accounts

A set of 30 crypto wallets from 12 exchange accounts that have been linked to the terrorist group Hamas based in the Gaza Strip were seized on Monday by Israeli authorities. Crypto exchange al-Mutahadun held the wallets where 12 accounts were allegedly being used by Hamas leaders to fund terrorist efforts against Israel. The Times of Israel reported that Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Feb. 28 that al-Mutahadun has helped Hamas’s military wing “by transferring funds amounting to tens of millions of dollars a year.” The exact value of the seizures and specifically what crypto assets seized is not yet clear, however, Israeli officials believe Hamas uses “tens of millions of dollars” in crypto funds to fund its military. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a Feb. 28 statement “We c...

Israel lawmakers to vote Sunday on anti-Netanyahu government

After weeks of political wrangling, the Israeli parliament is set to vote Sunday on whether to install a “change” coalition and end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12 consecutive years in power. Announcing the date for the confidence vote, speaker Yariv Levin, a Netanyahu ally, said on Tuesday “a special session of parliament” would debate and vote on the fragile eight-party alliance, after the country’s fourth inconclusive election in two years back in March. Later in the day, the prime minister’s office announced that a march by Jewish nationalists through Jerusalem would go ahead in a week’s time, potentially de-escalating tensions with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which went to war with the Jewish state for 11 days last month. Israeli right-wing groups had the day b...

Palestinian teen bears scar of eviction battle in East Jerusalem

Jana Kiswani, a 16-year-old Palestinian, was entering her home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah when an Israeli police officer shot her in the back with a sponge-tipped bullet, her family said. Her spine fractured, the teen bears testimony to the tensions and violence surrounding an Israeli court-ordered eviction of eight Palestinian families from homes claimed by Jewish settlers. Last month, the Sheikh Jarrah dispute helped to trigger 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group, and frequent protests and confrontations with Israeli police in the neighbourhood have kept tensions high. Clashes were under way in Sheikh Jarrah on May 18 when Kiswani was shot. She said she was obeying police orders to go inside when the police officer f...

Hamas official predicts ceasefire soon in Israel-Gaza conflict

A senior Hamas official predicted a ceasefire within days in the Israel-Gaza conflict, after U.S. President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek a “de-escalation” in the fighting. Rocket fire into Israel died down overnight, a lull that stretched into Thursday morning. Israel was launching new air strikes in Gaza after daybreak, but, Israeli media said, at a slower pace than in past days. An Egyptian security source said the sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after help from mediators but details were still being negotiated in secret. “I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed,” the Hamas political official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV. “I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the c...

Ramadan: Israel, Palestinians clash on Gaza border as Jerusalem violence continues

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Saturday drawing retaliatory air strikes, the Israeli military said, after nightly Ramadan clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police had resumed in Jerusalem. The pre-dawn exchange of fire broke months of relative quiet on the Israel-Gaza frontier, though it did not appear to signal a wider escalation after the military said it was not imposing any safety restrictions on Israelis living near the border. In Jerusalem, Israeli-Palestinian tension has been higher than usual during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Protests turned violent on Thursday with scores of arrests and injuries. The unrest resumed on Friday night, when Palestinian youths gathered outside the walled Old City and scuffled with hundreds o...

ICC ruling brings hope for Palestinians, dismay for Israelis

Many Palestinians see a ruling by the International Criminal Court that it has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories as a belated chance of justice for victims of Israeli attacks. But for many Israelis, Friday’s ruling is worrying because they say they are the “good guys” defending themselves against Palestinian violence. The ruling, delivered by a pre-trial chamber of three ICC judges, could lead to criminal investigations of Israel and Palestinian militant groups including Hamas. No probe was expected in the near future, however. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would now examine the decision and pointed to the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and militant groups in Hamas-controlled Gaza, the 2018 Gaza border protests and Israeli settlements in occupied territory. In Khan Youni...