UK to label entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization

UK to label entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization


Since 2001 the UK has solely recognized Hamas’s military wing as a terrorist organization. Now the entire apparatus is designated as such.

Palestinian Hamas militants take part in an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City May 22, 2021 / (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)

The United Kingdom plans to label Hamas in its entirety as a terror organization.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to announce the significant policy change during a security speech she is scheduled to deliver later in the day at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities, and it has long been involved in significant terrorist violence,” Patel will likely state, based on a pre-published excerpt of her speech.

Since 2001 the UK has solely recognized Hamas’s military wing as a terrorist organization, but now it will extend the political wing of the militant Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip.

The United States, the European Union, Israel and Japan, have similarly designated Hamas in its entirety as a terror organization. Australia, New Zealand and Paraguay have only applied the terror label to Hamas’s military wing.

British International Development Secretary Priti Patel attends a meeting with representatives from humanitarian aid agencies in Mogadishu, Somalia. (credit: REUTERS)

In her speech Patel is expected to explain that the legitimization of Hamas’ political wing, “creates an artificial distinction between various parts of the organization – it is right that the listing is updated to reflect this.”

“If we tolerate extremism, it will erode the rock of security,” Patel wrote, adding that Britain’s Jewish community feels especially threatened by Hamas.

“This is an important step, especially for the Jewish community. Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic. Antisemitism is an enduring evil which I will never tolerate. Jewish people routinely feel unsafe – at school, in the streets, when they worship, in their homes, and online,” Patel wrote in her speech.

“This step will strengthen the case against anyone who waves a Hamas flag in the United Kingdom, an act that is bound to make Jewish people feel unsafe. Anyone who supports or invites support for a proscribed organization is breaking the law. That now includes Hamas in whatever form it takes,” she added.

Such a move, Patel wrote, was also essential to ensure the security of citizens and to protect the country’s free market.

“Freedom is utterly dependent on security. I believe it is impossible for an individual or a country to be both free and unsafe. If you ask me if I’m more of a free-marketeer or more concerned with law-and-order, I will tell you that’s a false dichotomy.

“Free markets don’t exist in a state of nature. They can only exist with the rule of law. You cannot have free markets and a thriving economy if people, property, and business are unprotected,” Patel wrote.

“What capitalism represents is freedom – the space to create, ingenuity – the very thing our adversaries seek to undermine. They do so not just to gain economic advantage, but to destabilize us all together. We must not let them,” Patel wrote.

“We cannot hope to stay safe or to live freely if we are sheepish about calling out wrongdoing. Several governments are willing and capable of overt and covert action that undermines the United Kingdom’s national security. This includes such activity from state or state-backed organizations in Russia, China, and Iran,” she wrote.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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