Hamas calls for supporters to send Bitcoins

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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.

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