UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday permanently banned the Palestinian terror group Hamas in a move that aligns the country’s stance on Gaza’s self-styled rulers in line with the United States and the European Union.
“Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities,” Patel said in a statement.
Patel, who is on a trip to Washington, said the move was “based upon a wide range of intelligence, information and also links to terrorism.”
“The severity of that speaks for itself,” she said, calling Hamas “fundamentally and rabidly anti-Semitic”, adding proscription was required to protect the Jewish community.
She made the move against the anti-Israel group public on her personal Twitter account:
Today I have taken action to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.
This government is committed to tackling extremism and terrorism wherever it occurs. pic.twitter.com/TQfPzomyIm
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 19, 2021
The military wing of Hamas has been outlawed in the U.K. since 2001 but the organization as a whole was not proscribed – until now.
The organisation will be banned under the Terrorism Act. Anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag or arranging meetings for the organisation would be in breach of the law, the interior ministry statement confirmed.
Patel is expected to present the change to parliament for a vote next week.
Hamas – full name the ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’ – reacted angrily to the move, with political official Sami Abu Zuhri saying Britain’s move showed “absolute bias toward the Israeli occupation and is a submission to Israeli blackmail and dictations.”
“Resisting occupation by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right granted to people under occupation as stated by the international law,” said Hamas in a separate statement, Reuters reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the decision, saying in a Twitter post: “Hamas is a terrorist organization, simply put. The ‘political arm’ enables its military activity.”
Hamas has long been active in the UK under the guise of its so-called political arm.
Jeremy Corbyn Praised Hamas Terrorists as ‘Brothers’ on Iran State TV https://t.co/U87EJ9LMY8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 2, 2018
Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of giving his personal support to the terrorists.
As Breitbart News reported, he used an Iranian TV programme called “Remember Palestine” in 2012, to describe more than 1,000 convicted terrorists released by the Israeli government in a prisoner swap as “brothers”, and questioned if there was a “serious case” against them.
Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union.