Crypto Exchange Binance Says Lawsuit Over Deadly Israel Attack Lacks Evidence

News | July 2, 2024 By:

On Friday, June 14, 2024, Binance Holdings Ltd. filed a motion to dismiss claims that it aided and abetted terrorism stemming from a deadly attack in Israel. Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, argued the claims lack legal standing and do not directly link the platform’s services to the attack.

In the motion, Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao urged a New York federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by survivors of a Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, 2023. The plaintiffs, Judith Raanan, Natalie Raanan, and other victims and relatives, claimed in a February filing that Binance provided a “clandestine financing tool” for Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

However, Binance argued in its motion that the complaint does not sufficiently demonstrate the exchange’s services directly supported the specific attack. For the claims to be valid, Binance said the survivors would need to show the firm supported, knew of plans for, or had a clear connection to the perpetrators of the October 7 attack.

While the complaint referenced Hamas and other suspicious groups using Binance, the motion highlighted that no transaction on the platform has been alleged to have directly funded the attack in question. Binance also argued its services were routine and generally available, not intentionally assisting terrorist organizations.

The plaintiffs’ complaint cited Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators earlier this year over compliance failures. But Binance maintained in the motion that offboarding suspicious users, as it claims to have done, is “the antithesis of aiding and abetting terrorism.”

Binance also argues other courts have dismissed similar claims against financial institutions for their role in routine transactions. The motion notes the complaint lacks details on blockchain analytics or methodology for linking transactions to Hamas.

Additionally, Binance asserted the court lacks jurisdiction over the firm and Zhao, as the complaint contains no facts tying the New York operations to the claims. While sympathizing with the plaintiffs’ suffering, Binance said they lack standing to bring these particular claims.

The October 7 attack killed an estimated 1,200 people in Israeli towns near Gaza and prompted ongoing conflict.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.