The UK outlawed the military wing of the terrorist group – the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – in 2001. But Hamas’s political direction has remained technically clear so far.
This allowed Hamas to raise funds which were funneled to institutions such as the Islamic University of Gaza, the main facility for advancing technology used in the development of missiles and other Hamas weapons, according to the report. .
Hamas reacted angrily to the decision, with spokesman Hazim Qasim calling it “a new crime committed by Britain against our Palestinian people.”
In a separate statement, Hamas condemned the move as one of Britain’s many “sins” against the Palestinian people. The terrorist group singled out the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which affirmed British support for the establishment of a Jewish state.
“Rather than apologize and correct their historic sins to the Palestinian people, whether it be the shameful Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate, which handed over Palestinian land to the Zionist movement – [Britain] supports the aggressors to the detriment of the victims, ”the terrorist group said in a statement.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is in charge of internal security, said on Twitter Friday that she had “acted to outlaw Hamas in its entirety.”
The ban, which must be approved by parliament, would make it illegal in Britain to be a member of Hamas or to express support for the group, with a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The government has said it hopes the banning order will be approved by parliament within a week and take effect on November 26.
Channel 13 said Israel has long worked with the UK to secure the ban, but the final decisions were made following talks between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his UK counterpart Borris Johnson at the beginning of the month on the sidelines. of the Glasgow Environmental Summit.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson chat as they attend an evening reception to mark the opening day of the UN Climate Summit COP26, in Glasgow, in Scotland, Monday November 1, 2021 (AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali, Pool)
Former opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn once called Hamas its “friends” and invited people affiliated with Hamas to speak in parliament, including extremists who praised Hamas. suicide bombers and called for attacks on British troops.
Corbyn later said he regretted using the term “friends”.
Highlighting the effects of the new law, a Daily Mail headline on Friday on the impending ban read: “Jeremy Corbyn faces 10 years in prison if he meets again” friends “of Hamas. “
Israel welcomed this decision. Bennett praised the decision, saying there was no distinction between the terrorist group’s political leaders and its military wing.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization, plain and simple. The “political wing” allows its military activity. The same terrorists – only in costume, ”Bennett tweeted.
Explaining the decision, Patel wrote that Hamas “has significant terrorist capacity, including access to extensive and sophisticated weapons, as well as terrorist training facilities.”
“We felt that we can no longer disaggregate the kind of military and political side,” she said, according to The Guardian. “It is based on a wide range of intelligence, information and also links to terrorism. The seriousness of this speaks for itself.
The terrorist group did not dispute Patel’s claim. Instead, Hamas responded by asserting that violent resistance against Israel was legitimate under international law.
“Resisting occupation, by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right guaranteed to peoples under occupation by international law. It is the occupation that is terrorism, ”Hamas said.
“Our Palestinian people, and behind them the Arab and Islamic nations and all the free peoples of the world, are on the road to freedom and return. [to Israel], whatever sacrifices this might entail, ”Hamas concluded.
Rights groups have always said that Hamas rocket attacks targeting indiscriminate Israeli towns do not respect the laws of war and therefore constitute potential war crimes.
The United States and the European Union already regard Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, as a terrorist group. The organization, which was founded during the First Intifada, has become infamous for organizing dozens of bloody suicide bombings against Israelis.
The Islamists took Gaza in 2007 during a civil war with their rivals Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority. Since then, Hamas has waged successive wars with Israel and launched thousands of rockets at Israeli towns.
A group of so-called Palestinian “resistance” factions, including Hamas, said they would hold an emergency meeting on Saturday in response to the announcement.
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group, which often coordinates attacks on Israelis with Hamas, also condemned Patel’s announcement.
“Resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian forces will not give up the exercise of this right in all its forms,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.
Agencies contributed to this report