Australia to designate all of Hamas a terrorist organization

Previously, the country only listed Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

By JNS.org

Australia announced on Thursday that it would designate the entire Hamas movement as a terrorist organization, Australian media reported.

Previously, the country only listed Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

“The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies,” Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews was quoted as saying.

The designation places restrictions on organizational financing. Providing support for or participating with the organization in any way could carry up to a 25-year prison sentence.

According to the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), in October, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) made a bipartisan recommendation that the government expand its listing, noting that Hamas as a whole met the definition of a terrorist organization under Australia’s Criminal Code.

“Minister Andrews has now accepted that recommendation,” it said following Thursday’s announcement. “She has also announced that she will add Syrian jihadist groups Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, as well as neo-Nazi group National Socialist Order, previously known as Atomwaffen Division, to Australia’s list of banned terrorist organizations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted in reaction to the announcement: “I welcome the news that Australia will list Hamas as a terrorist organization in its entirety. Thank you to my friend Scott Morrison for following through on our dialogue on this important matter. This is another important step in the global fight against terrorism.”

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Bennett and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had discussed the matter at the COP26 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Defense Minister Benny Gantz also responded to the decision.

“Thank you to our Australian partners for designating the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization—including its political wing which plans, finances and conducts terror activities. Hamas targets civilians, threatens the State of Israel and holds Gaza residents hostage,” said Gantz.

“Australia again chose the right side of history,” tweeted Shaked.

Australia joins The United States, European Union and the United Kingdom who have also designated the entire Hamas movement a terrorist organization.