UK to designate all of Hamas as terrorist group and outlaw its support – .

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The UK will designate Hamas as a terrorist organization on Friday and ban support for the group, with violators facing up to 10 years in prison, the British embassy in Israel confirmed.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel will make the announcement on Friday at an event in Washington, DC, according to an embassy statement.

The UK recognized Hamas’ military wing – the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades – as a terrorist organization in 2001, but did not extend that designation to its political wing, which runs Gaza.

Speaking to reporters in Washington on Thursday, Patel said the distinction was no longer tenable.

“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.

Patel will move the designation forward to Parliament next week, according to The Guardian. The group’s ban would see those who express support for Hamas, meet its operatives or wave its flag, face criminal penalties of up to ten years in prison.

In his speech on Friday, Patel will call Hamas “fiercely anti-Semitic,” and say that the terror group’s ban is aimed at making British Jews feel more secure.

“Hamas has a significant terrorist capacity, including access to extensive and sophisticated weapons, as well as terrorist training facilities, and it has long been involved in significant terrorist violence,” his prepared remarks said. , according to a statement from the British Embassy in Israel.

Members of the armed wing of Hamas march through Gaza City on June 7, 2021. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

“But Hamas’s current list creates an artificial distinction between different parts of the organization – it is only right that the list is updated to reflect this. This is an important step, especially for the Jewish community. If we tolerate extremism, it will erode the rock of security. “

“Hamas is fundamentally and fiercely anti-Semitic,” she said. “Anti-Semitism is a lingering evil that I will never tolerate. Jews regularly feel unsafe – at school, on the streets, when praying, at home and online.

“This move will strengthen the arguments against anyone waving a Hamas flag in the UK, an act that is sure to make the Jewish people feel in danger. “

Illustration: Palestinians wave Hamas flags and chant slogans during a celebration organized by Hamas in Nablus, West Bank on Friday, August 29, 2014 (AP / Nasser Ishtayeh)

The United States and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. The terrorist group, which wrested control of the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup in 2007, has unleashed multiple wars with Israel over the past decade and fired thousands of people. rockets on civilian towns.

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