Hamas must be declared a terrorist group with supporters who risk 10 years in prison

Priti Patel must ban Hamas’ political wing as a terrorist organization after condemning it as “fundamentally and outright anti-Semitic”.

Hamas’ military wing has been banned in Britain since 2001, but in a statement on Friday, the interior minister said the entire Palestinian group should now be banned.

This means that supporters of the group will risk up to 10 years in prison under the Terrorism Act.

Explaining the details of a speech on security at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, a conservative think tank that was previously in line with Donald Trump on a number of his presidential policies, Ms. Patel will say that Hamas is currently listed as a separate political party. and militant wing. creates an artificial distinction between different parts of the organization ”.

She will say: “Hamas has significant terrorist capacity, including access to extensive and sophisticated weapons, as well as terrorist training facilities, and it has long been involved in significant terrorist violence. But the current list of Hamas creates an artificial distinction between different parts of the organization – it is true that the list has been updated to reflect this.

“This is an important step, especially for the Jewish community. Hamas is fundamentally and outright anti-Semitic.

“Anti-Semitism is a persistent evil that I will never tolerate. Jews routinely feel insecure – at school, on the street when they worship, in their homes and online.

“This move will strengthen the case against anyone waving a Hamas flag in the United Kingdom, an action that is bound to make the Jewish people feel insecure.

“Anyone who supports or invites support for a banned organization is breaking the law. It now includes Hamas, no matter what form it takes.”

But the move will put further pressure on efforts to create the conditions for a permanent agreement between the Israeli government and the Hamas-led government in Gaza towards a two-state solution, which the British government has said it is committed to.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which were thwarted by Hamas, broke down in 2014. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has fought three wars with it since taking control of Gaza.

Rare Palestinian parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2021 were postponed, and the last poll, held in 2006, saw Hamas win a landslide victory.

Proscription makes it a criminal offense to belong to an organization in the UK or abroad, or even to express an opinion or belief that supports such a group.

Wearing clothing that suggests a person is a member or supporter of a banned organization, or publishing an image of a clothing, flag or logo that would lead to the same conclusion, is also a criminal offense under the Terrorism Act 2000 .

The Secretary of the Interior will outline the move in a speech at the Conservative think tank Heritage Foundation in Washington on Friday


Mrs Patel will also use her speech to warn of the “overt and covert act undermining Britain’s national security” from countries including China, Russia and Iran.

“We respect the people of all countries,” the interior minister said. “But we will condemn all state actors who do wrong to us or our allies, and we will do whatever it takes to keep our country safe.

“If we want a future where we are prosperous, happy and free, we will have to keep working for it – extremely hard. And that means cooperation between allies and a common understanding that if we do not have security, we have none of the things we want – and all the things we do not want. ”

In 2017, Mrs Patel was forced to resign from Theresa May’s government after it emerged she had held secret meetings with the Israeli government and discussed giving British foreign aid money to the country’s military.

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