Hamas condemned Britain’s decision to ban the group as a terrorist organization that could see supporters of the Palestinian movement face up to 14 years in prison.
Interior Minister Priti Patel, who will advocate for the ban in parliament next week, argued on Friday that it was not possible to distinguish between the political and military wings of Hamas. She called Hamas “fundamentally and fiercely anti-Semitic,” adding that the outlaw was necessary to protect the Jewish community.
Hamas responded in a statement, saying: “Instead of apologizing and correcting its historic sin against the Palestinian people… [Britain] supports the aggressors at the expense of the victims.
The comment referred to the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate, which he said handed “Palestinian land back to the Zionist movement.”
“Resisting occupation, by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right guaranteed by international law to those under occupation,” the statement added.
The group called on its supporters to condemn the UK decision, as it called Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, the forced displacement of Palestinians, the demolition of their homes and the siege of more than two “terrorism”. million people in the Gaza Strip.
Patel, who is traveling to Washington, DC, said his decision was “based on a wide range of intelligence, information and also links to terrorism.”
“The seriousness of this speaks for itself,” she said.
In 2017, Patel was forced to resign as UK secretary for international development after failing to disclose meetings with senior Israeli officials while on a private vacation trip to the country.
She met then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then opposition leader Yair Lapid.
The military wing of the Qassam Brigades of the Palestinian movement that rules the Gaza Strip has been banned in Britain since March 2001.
An outright ban under the Terrorism Act 2000 will align the UK with the US and the European Union.
If Patel’s candidacy is successful, he will be prohibited from carrying the Hamas flag, organizing a meeting with its members, or wearing clothing supporting the group.
Politically, this could force Britain’s main opposition group to take a stand on Hamas, given the strong pro-Palestinian support among the most left-wing members of the Labor Party.
Earlier this month, a man appeared in UK court for wearing T-shirts supporting the armed wing of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which the UK banned in 2005.
Three times in June, Feras Al Jayoosi, 34, wore the clothes in the Golders Green area of north London, which has a large Jewish population.
Hamas is a radical Islamic group that targets innocent Israelis and seeks to destroy Israel.
I welcome the UK’s intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in its entirety, because that is exactly what it is.
Thanks to my friend @BorisJohnson for your leadership.
– Naftali Bennett (@naftalibennett) November 19, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett applauded the news, calling Hamas a “radical Islamic group that targets innocent Israelis and seeks to destroy Israel”.
“I welcome the UK’s intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in its entirety – because that is exactly what it is,” he tweeted.
Lapid, now Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement: “There is no legitimate part of a terrorist organization, and any attempt at differentiation … is artificial”.
Lapid said the move was the result of “joint efforts” between the British and Israeli governments.
Founded in 1987, Hamas is against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Gaza-based Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, defeating nationalist rival Fatah. He took military control of Gaza the following year.
An 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza in May this year killed at least 250 Palestinians, including 66 children. According to Israeli officials, 13 people, including two children, were killed in Israel by Hamas rockets.