The UK is poised to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, two decades after Britain blacklisted part of Hamas.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce Friday that the entirety of Hamas will be proscribed as a terrorist organization in her first keynote speech on security in Washington DC.
Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has been recognized as a terrorist organization in the United Kingdom since 2001.
Friday’s announcement will now expand the terrorist designation to include Hamas' political wing as well, making affiliation with any part of the Hamas organization illegal in the UK.
“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 will say in her upcoming speech. "But the current listing of Hamas creates an artificial distinction between various parts of the organisation – it is right that the listing is updated to reflect this."
“This is an important step, especially for the Jewish community. Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic. Antisemitism is an enduring evil which I will never tolerate. Jewish people routinely feel unsafe – at school, in the streets, when they worship, in their homes, and online. 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 organisation is breaking the law. That now includes Hamas in whatever form it takes."
“If we tolerate extremism, it will erode the rock of security.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his support for the move Friday, and thanked his British counterpart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"Hamas is a terrorist organization - that's just what it is," tweeted Bennett.
"The 'political wing' makes its military activities possible. They are the same terrorists, just with suits. Thanks and much appreciation to my friend Boris Johnson for his leadership on this issue."