Britain to proscribe Palestinian militant group Hamas as a “terrorist organization”

Britain will proscribe Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organization, its interior ministry said on Friday, a move that would bring its position on Gaza’s rulers in line with the United States and EU.

The organization would be banned under the Terrorism Act and that anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag or arranging meetings for the organization would be in breach of the law, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper which the ministry said was accurate.

The Times newspaper said interior minister Priti Patel would announce the move in Washington and present it to parliament next week.

Until now, Britain has banned only Hamas’s military wing — the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed reports of the decision. In a Twitter post he said “Hamas is a terrorist organization.

A Hamas official in Gaza said it would wait until an official announcement from Britain before issuing a response.

Hamas opposes the existence of Israel, and advocating “armed resistance” against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The most recent outbreak of violence was an 11-day conflict in May, in which Palestinian officials say 250 people were killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza, including 66 children.


Arab Observer

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