French lawmaker comes under fire for calling Hamas a resistance movement

Hard-left deputy Danièle Obono should be prosecuted for supporting terrorism, says French Interior Minister.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A French lawmaker who called Hamas a resistance movement is going to be investigated for supporting terrorism, the country’s interior minister announced Wednesday.

In a Tuesday interview with Sud Radio, Danièle Obono, a member of the hard-left France Unbowed party (LFI), demonstrated vocally that she did not agree with the EU designation of Hamas as a terrorist group.

“Yes, Hamas is a resistance movement,” said the Paris representative who was born in Gabon in Africa. “It is an Islamist political group which has an armed wing and which resists Israel.”

Minister Gerald Darmanin responded incredulously on X, writing, “Hamas, ‘a resistance movement’? No! It is a terrorist movement. I am contacting the public prosecutor for [her] advocating terrorism.”

He was backed by the head of the center-right Les Republicains party, Eric Ciotti, who said he would work to enable the lawmaker’s prosecution.

“MP Danièle Obono declares that Hamas is a resistance group,” he posted on the social media site. “It is a terrorist organization responsible for the massacre of elderly people, the beheading of children, and the rape of Israeli women. This statement is an apology for Islamist terrorism! I have just intervened in the office of the National Assembly to request sanctions and the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of MP Obono for supporting terrorism.”

Some party colleagues also disassociated themselves from Obono’s words.

“We provide no support for Hamas,” said one, Arnaud Le Gall.

After the explosion of condemnations, which included those of leftist parties that are political allies of LFI, Obono tried to back away from her statement.

“I said that Hamas is an Islamist political group that claims to be part of the resistance to the occupation of Palestine,” she wrote in a follow-up post. “That’s a fact. Neither an apology, nor an endorsement, nor an endorsement for their despicable war crimes against Israeli civilians.”

The LFI has come under fire since it refused to condemn the October 7 invasion of Israeli communities in the Gaza envelope in which more than 1,300 men, women and children were murdered and at least 200 were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. The party called it an “armed offensive by Palestinian forces,” that occurred in the “context of intensification of the Israeli occupation policy.”

At least 20 French citizens have been confirmed as killed in the Hamas onslaught, and an unknown number are being held hostage in Gaza. On Tuesday, Hamas released a video of at least one, dual Israeli-French national Mia Schem, 21, who said she is being treated for wounds sustained in her capture but asking to be “returned home as quickly as possible.”

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The French government just stymied its own Senate majority from tabling a resolution that condemns Hamas’ “crimes against humanity” and expresses “unwavering support to the Israeli people,” by not putting it on the daily agenda. “Words are flammable in the current period so we must pay attention to the symbolic significance of such a resolution” when Paris is trying to prevent an escalation in the region and gain the hostages’ freedom, an official explained.