Britain lists Hezbollah in Lebanon as a terrorist group

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The British government considers Hamas a terrorist organization and intends to ban its activities. The military wing of the Palestinian Authority has been on Britain’s list of terrorist groups since 2001.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday (November 19th) that she would soon declare Hamas a terrorist organization. She emphasized that Hamas’s overall “terrorist capability” was significant, but also that it had “access to deep and advanced weapons” and “terrorist facilities”. British Foreign Secretary Liz Terrace also tweeted that the move would “help counter the scourge of anti-Semitism”.

The ban on groups in the UK must be enacted by law. If the law is passed banning Hamas, membership in or support of the organization, it would be a crime, and the judiciary could sentence “offenders” to long prison terms of up to 14 years. Ms. Patel said she hoped the ban on Hamas (any action taken in Britain by the organization, such as the Hamas flag, financial aid or verbal support) would be passed within a week and would take effect on 26 November.

The organization’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was outlawed in Britain in 2001. The Islamist group Hamas, which opposes the presence of Israel, won a majority of Palestinian votes in the 2005 elections. In 2007, the Fatah conquered the West Bank in a successful civil war to oust Hamas from control. Hamas has since ruled only in the Gaza Strip. The United States, the European Union, and Israel consider the organization a terrorist group.

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