Senior Hamas Advisor: Only “Matter of Time” Before Movement Removed from Western Terrorist Lists
A leading figure from Hamas has said that the group’s removal from the US and European countries’ lists of terrorism sponsors “has become a matter of time.”
Ahmed Yousef , a senior adviser to Gaza’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency Monday that, “There are contacts [being] made by the movement, with the help of Arab and Islamic countries such as Qatar, Egypt and Turkey, to convince major and European countries to take Hamas’s name out of the terrorism list.”
Yousef added that the contacts received positive responses from some European countries, without naming them, saying that visits from other Western countries are also positive signs.
“Despite the requirement of the international quartet [for us] to recognize Israel in order to take Hamas off of the terrorism list, we will not recognize this condition,” he said.
Yousef said he believed that the West’s support of similar regimes elsewhere in the region would play a part in Hamas’s future categorization. “It is not reasonable for the Western countries to support Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and continue to boycott Hamas, which came out of the womb of these Islamist movements, and keep it on the list of terrorism.”
Youssef also told Ma’an that rockets fired at Israel do not target civilians but rather Israeli army bases. “The armed struggle is guaranteed by international law [the right] to resist occupation … but Western countries are biased in favor of Israel,” he said.