Middle East

Palestine rejects UK terror label of Hamas

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel banned Hamas as 'terrorist' organization

Qais Abu Samra  | 20.11.2021 - Update : 21.11.2021
Palestine rejects UK terror label of Hamas

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday rejected a British move to designate Palestinian resistance group Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The designation is "an unjustified attack on the Palestinian people, who are subjected to the most heinous forms of occupation, and historical injustice established by the Balfour Declaration,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Balfour Declaration is a document dated Nov. 2, 1917 that laid the groundwork for Israel's creation. Then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour agreed to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said the UK designation of Hamas as “terrorist” puts “obstacles in the way of achieving peace, and obstacles in the way of ongoing efforts to consolidate the truce and rebuild the Gaza Strip."

It also condemned the move as Britain’s "acquiescing to Israeli pressure”, noting that the decision “comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett demanded his British counterpart, on the sidelines of the climate summit meeting in Glasgow, to approve Hamas as a terrorist organization."

The ministry called on the British government to stop its policy of “double standards” and “to immediately retract (from) this decision."

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said Friday she had banned Hamas as a “terrorist” organization.

The move, which will be pushed in the UK parliament next week, could see Hamas supporters and activists face jail terms of up to 14 years.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, slammed the UK ban as "continued aggression" on Palestinians and their rights.

The UK has banned Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization in 2001, but did not include the group’s political bureau within the designation.

* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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