Hamas calls for supporters to send Bitcoins

Bitcoin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 30 January 2019
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Hamas calls for supporters to send Bitcoins

  • 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

GAZA CITY: 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.
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.


Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

Updated 49 min 22 sec ago
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Gargash: UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdown

  • The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen
  • UAE minister Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a confidence-building measure

The United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led military coalition, is not leaving war-torn Yemen despite an ongoing drawdown and redeployment of Emirati forces, a UAE minister has said.

“Just to be clear, the UAE and the rest of the coalition are not leaving Yemen,” minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in an opinion piece published Monday in The Washington Post.

“While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain. In accordance with international law, we will continue to advise and assist local Yemen forces.”

The UAE announced earlier this month it was drawing down and redeploying troops in Yemen, where a years-long conflict between government forces - backed by the Saudi-led coalition - and Iran-backed Houthi militia has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The UAE is a key partner in the military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against the Houthi.

Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a “confidence-building measure to create new momentum to end the conflict”.

“As the United Arab Emirates draws down and redeploys its forces in Yemen, we do so in the same way we began - with eyes wide open,” he said.

“There was no easy victory and there will be no easy peace.

“But now is the time to double down on the political process.”

The warring sides have fought to a stalemate, and several rounds of UN-sponsored talks, the last held in Sweden in December, have failed to implement any deal to end the war.

Since 2015, tens of thousands of people - mostly civilians - have been killed in the conflict described by the United Nations as the world’s worst manmade humanitarian crisis.