UK to Designate All of Hamas as Terror Group
The United Kingdom was set on Friday to designate all of Hamas as a terror group and make support for the group punishable by up to ten years in prison. The announcement was scheduled to take place during a program at The Heritage Foundation in Washington DC by British Home Secretary Priti Patel, Israeli media reported citing the British embassy in Israel.
For the last two decades, the UK has only recognized the Hamas military wing as a terrorist organization. The announcement on Friday will extend that designation to the political wing. The United States, European Union, Israel and Japan all designate the entire Hamas organization as terrorist. Three countries besides the UK – Australia, New Zealand and Paraguay – designate only the group’s military wing, known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as terrorist.
“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 was set to say in a speech announcing the designation, according to reports citing excerpts from her speech that have already been made public. “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.”