Palestinian Blockade in Gaza Turns to Bitcoin Amid Financial Chaos (Report)

Many Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip have lost their lives to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while others are close to survival.

The complete destruction of the area also negatively affected the local financial network. In an effort to preserve their wealth and monetary independence from Israel, a growing number of Gazans have turned to bitcoin and other digital currencies.

The Israeli-Palestinian war

The clash between the two countries, which began in the last century, is one of the most enduring global conflicts. The crux of the problem lies in the fact that the territory of Israel is home to both Jews (the dominant population) and Palestinian Arabs. Both groups claimed the same land, but no compromise was reached.

The first tension occurred in the early 20th century when many Jews fleeing persecution in Europe settled in the region and wanted to establish a national home. The local Arab population resisted, claiming the land as theirs.

The United Nations intervened to prevent what appeared to be the start of a major military conflict. The organization developed a plan for the partition of Palestine that could divide the country into two independent Arab and Jewish states, while Jerusalem would have a separate international regime. The plan never saw the light of day and sparked the 1947-1949 Palestine War.

Violence continued in the region (rich in historical, religious and cultural sites) in the following decades. Most Israelis support the eventual creation of two separate states, while the majority of Palestinians reject such an option. The latter believe that the entire territory belongs to them and have carried out several armed attacks against Israelis over the years. The radical Islamic terrorist organization Hamas was responsible for most of the abuses.

Gaza strip

No matter who is right, thousands of people have lost their lives because of the war, and much of the country has been destroyed. One of the hardest hit areas has been the Gaza Strip (a Palestinian enclave on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean), where the situation is unbearable for many.

The region is one of the most densely populated places on Earth and is home to over two million people. Israel has imposed a blockade on it since 2007, meaning the residents must rely on humanitarian aid to survive.

Only 5% of the population has access to clean water, while 60% of children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition.

Most young people are unemployed and the local economy is completely crippled. It seems logical that the locals would look for alternatives to preserve and generate some wealth amidst the chaos, and that is where crypto comes in.

Bitcoin: a lifeboat for the poor

National News interviewed some residents of the Gaza Strip and discovered that many have recently turned to the world of cryptocurrency.

Noor, one of the participants, said her lifestyle completely changed when she started learning about digital currencies.

“My fortune changed when I learned how to invest in bitcoin and started selling makeup online,” she said.

Dr. Tarek Dana, a political advisor for the Palestinian Network for Policies, believes that more and more locals have jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon as a way to become independent from Israeli financial regulations.

“I think the decentralized cryptocurrency banking situation is encouraging enough for us [Palestinians] “Getting income through a safe and independent platform,” said Karim – a resident of Gaza who also invests in bitcoin.

Despite giving them monetary freedom and a chance to be a part of the global financial network, cryptocurrency hides its risks due to its notorious volatility. The price of Bitcoin has fallen by more than 75% in the past 12 months, causing HODLers to lose a lot of paper money. Haitham Zuhair, a Palestinian businessman and cryptocurrency investor, spoke about the matter:

“I am sure that the drop in the price of bitcoin has cost many traders in Gaza a lot because their initial investment and capital is not as high as one would imagine.

Education and experience are essential to continue using cryptocurrency as an online income space and a symbolic tool for Palestine’s economic resilience. It only takes one wrong call to lose a world class profit in crypto.”

Cryptocurrency trader Mohamed Awni revealed that his investment in bitcoin during the bull run was so successful that he had enough money to get married. However, the bear market has shattered his dream (at least for now).

Hamas also finds cryptocurrencies attractive

Apart from the many peaceful locals struggling to make ends meet, cryptocurrencies have also caught the attention of the terrorist organization Hamas.

Last summer, Israeli authorities seized 84 cryptocurrency wallets that allegedly contained more than $7.7 million in digital assets, some of which belonged to the Islamist group. After the confiscation, it turned out that Hamas used several coins, such as Tether (USDT), Bitcoin (BTC), Tron (TRX), Ether (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE).

The Israeli Ministry of Defense carried out another confiscation operation in March of this year, confiscating 30 digital wallets linked to Al Mutahidoon Exchange. The authorities claimed that the platform “helps Hamas, especially its military wing, by transferring funds amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually.”

Post Banned Palestinians in Gaza Turn to Bitcoin Amid Financial Chaos (Report) appeared first on CryptoPotato.

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