UK Officially Bans Whole of Hamas as ‘Complex but Single Terrorist Organization’
The UK government said Friday it had officially added Hamas to its list of proscribed terrorist organizations, after the British Parliament’s approval of its decision last week.
Members of the Islamist terrorist organization or those who invite support for the group may be jailed for up to 14 years, the UK’s home office said.
On Nov. 19, had announced that the entire Hamas organization — including its political wing — would be banned, two decades after the group’s military arm alone was outlawed.
“Hamas is an organization which calls for the establishment of a Islamic Palestinian state under Sharia law and has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. It has long been involved in significant terrorist violence,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said at the time. “This action will support efforts to protect the British public and the international community in the global fight against terrorism.”
The Home Office’s list of proscribed terrorist groups now includes Hamas, which is describes as a “complex but single terrorist organization.”
“At the time it was Her Majesty’s Government’s assessment that there was a sufficient distinction between the so called political and military wings of Hamas, such that they should be treated as different organizations, and that only the military wing was concerned in terrorism,” the document says. “The government now assess that the approach of distinguishing between the various parts of Hamas is artificial.”
The document cites Hamas’ use of indiscriminate attacks against Israeli targets, noting specifically the 4,000-plus rockets launched during the May 2021 conflict and incendiary balloons fired from Gaza during the summer.