Hi-tech firms offer shelter, donations for Israelis harmed by Hamas war


In the wake of Hamas’s shock terrorist attack in Israel on Saturday — which saw over 1,200 men, women, children, and babies killed and more than 150 others taken hostage — Israel’s hi-tech industry is extending a helping hand.

In a statement on behalf of the Israel Advanced Technology Industries Association (IATI), which serves as Israel’s umbrella organization of the tech industries, CEO and president Karin Mayer Rubinstein declared the hi-tech industry’s interest in doing what it can to support those in need.

“Israel’s hi-tech community is working closely together, harder than ever, to support the Israeli military and people, with many of our members heroically serving in military reserves as well as utilizing our technologies on all fronts,” she said.

She went on to add that customers of Israeli tech companies around the world can expect continued service despite the current challenges, saying: “We fully expect our member companies to continue to exceed in the service they provide to global customers throughout the conflict.”

The published statement elaborated on this point: “As much as it is unbearably difficult, we are obliged to continue our business and personal lives, to continue our investments, to strengthen the tech companies, for the sake of our families, our colleagues, our companies, our employees and our investors, and in doing so we will make a significant contribution to the economic and national resilience of the State of Israel.”

A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken October 19, 2021. (credit: EDGAR SU/ REUTERS)

“The IATI mainly sees in these difficult times the importance of preserving the strength of the economy and continuing investments and strengthening the activities of tech companies,” continued Rubinstein, adding that the IATI is also working on developing tech solutions that can assist in the ongoing war efforts both on the front lines and on the home front.

Pitching in

Several firms, such as the Road2 Haifa Innovation Center, Aporia, and Mindspace have opened their facilities to those in need of shelter. “Aporia is offering its office space at HaHashmonaim 100, Tel Aviv, to residents from the south seeking a workspace. We are also actively organizing a donation drive to assist those in need,” said a statement from the company.

Aporia isn’t alone in its donation drive efforts. Mobility tech company NOTRAFFIC, for example, has set up a donation collection point at its Tel Aviv office, where company employees collect food, hygiene supplies, and clothing to send the donations directly to the soldiers on the southern front.

Other companies are extending aid by offering their services for free to those who require them. EV-Edge, a company that operates a network of electric charging stations throughout the country, announced that their 8 charging stations in the Gaza Strip in the cities of Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot, and Ashkelon will be made available to the public free of charge. 

Swiss-Israeli fintech start-up Okoora has announced that businesses of all sizes and types in Israel will have access to its integrated platform for managing global payments, banking, and currency risk management during the ongoing war, free of charge and without any preconditions.

User1st, a company that specializes in making websites and mobile apps accessible for people with disabilities, has also opened free access to its platform. “These are difficult days for all of us and therefore we chose to allow our services for free to any organization that wishes to assure that its life-saving and assisting services to the people in the confrontation area are accessible to everyone,” said CEO Ben Rosanes.

Collecting crypto for the cause

A group of local leaders in the cryptocurrency space have joined to establish Crypto Aid Israel, a cryptocurrency donation fund aimed at raising funds for Israelis affected by the ongoing conflict. They’ve set up a shared wallet, overseen by trusted members of the Web3 community, to accept cryptocurrency donations in currencies like Bitcoin, Etereum, and Tether.

Crypto Aid Israel is partnering with a leading Israeli bank and several government agencies to efficiently distribute these donations. Israeli blockchain company Fireblocks is assisting in managing the crypto assets, with a strict policy requiring a minimum of four out of seven signatories to access the funds, all of whom are respected figures in the local Web3 community.

“Israel is currently suffering from a brutal, unprovoked attack by Hamas terrorists. Every Israeli citizen is fighting for the survival of their own life and the lives of their families. They need our utmost support, and that’s what we’re aiming to provide with Crypto Aid Israel,” said local crypto organizer and CEO of CryptoJungle, Ben Samocha.

“We hope to raise the necessary funds to provide food and shelter for families who lost their homes. We are also hoping to provide hygiene and medical products for the bombarded Israeli civilian populace and to raise awareness for the horrors the Israeli people are facing right now. We are especially hopeful to provide resources to Israeli children who have lost their parents to murder or abduction,” he added. “Please donate and share our campaign – and we thank you for your support!”

The organization emphasized the importance of double-checking that any funds donated are sent to the correct location. The destination crypto wallet address should be compared to the verified address on the official website.