Until now, only the military faction had this status. With regard to this decision, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is pleased. “The same terrorists – only in suits” – wrote the head of the Israeli government on Twitter.
Bennett welcomed the UK’s extension of the term “terrorist organization” to the political wing of Hamas. The head of the Israeli government tweeted that “Hamas is a terrorist organization, just like that. The political arm enables its military activity. The same terrorists – only in suits.”
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He also thanked “his friend Boris Johnson” for the legal steps taken by Great Britain, expressing his appreciation for the British Prime Minister’s decision.
Statement by the British Embassy in Israel
Britain is no longer distinguishing between the legal political wing of the Palestinian organization Hamas and the terrorist organization, as has been the treatment of the military wing since 2001. On Friday, the interior minister of Boris Johnson’s government, Priti Patel, on a visit to Washington, will announce changes resulting from “a wide range of intelligence analysis.” Those accused of supporting Hamas will face a 10-year prison sentence.
“Hamas has significant terrorist opportunities, including access to extensive and sophisticated weapons as well as terrorist training facilities, and has long been involved in serious terrorist activities,” explained the British Embassy in Israel in a statement.
Patel, motivating the decisions of the British government, calls the organization “fiercely anti-Semitic” and reminds that “anti-Semitism is an enduring evil that I will never tolerate. Jews constantly feel threatened – at school, on the street, at prayer, in their homes and even online”.
The political wing of Hamas, founded in 1987, exercises power in the Gaza Strip. The armed wing of the organization is the Izz al-Din al-Kassam Brigades. Hamas itself describes itself as the “resistance” and the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.
Main photo source: ABED AL HASHLAMOUN / PAP / EPA