Britain bans Palestinian militant group Hamas – Home Secretary – .

Britain bans Palestinian militant group Hamas – Home Secretary – .

JERUSALEM / LONDON, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday said she had banned the Palestinian militant group Hamas, aligning the UK’s stance on Gaza’s rulers on that of the United States and the European Union.

“Hamas has a significant terrorist capacity, including access to extensive and sophisticated weapons, as well as terrorist training facilities,” Patel said in a statement.

“That’s why today I acted to outlaw Hamas in its entirety. “

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The organization would be banned under the terrorism law and anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag or organizing meetings for the organization would be breaking the law, the Interior Ministry confirmed. Patel is expected to present the change to parliament next week.

Hamas has political and military wings. Founded in 1987, it opposes the existence of Israel and the peace talks, advocating instead “armed resistance” against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

So far, Britain has only banned its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Hamas politician Sami Abu Zuhri said the British decision showed “an absolute bias towards the Israeli occupation and constituted submission to Israeli blackmail and dictation.”

“Resisting the occupation by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right granted to people under occupation, as stipulated by international law,” Hamas said in a separate statement.

The Palestinian mission in the UK, which represents the Palestinian Authority backed by President Mahmoud Abbas, also condemned the move.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the decision, saying on Twitter: “Hamas is a terrorist organization, in layman’s terms. The ‘political arm’ allows its military activity. “

Hamas and Israel most recently clashed in a deadly 11-day conflict in May. During the second Palestinian uprising two decades ago, Hamas suicide bombers killed hundreds of Israelis, a campaign publicly supported by its political wing.


In 2017, Patel was forced to resign as UK secretary for international development after failing to disclose meetings with senior Israeli officials during a private stay in the country, including the opposition leader of the era, Yair Lapid.

Lapid, now Israel’s foreign minister, hailed the Hamas ruling as “part of strengthening ties with Britain.”

Hamas is on the US list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. The European Union also considers it a terrorist movement.

Gaza-based Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, defeating nationalist rival Fatah. He took military control of Gaza the following year.

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Reporting by Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem and Aistair Smout in London; Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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