Potential Scottish prime minister met with senior Hamas operative, denies he’s antisemitic

Lawmaker who may become Scotland’s prime minister refuses to say if he knew Hamas operative’s background and terror-supporting activities when they met at an Islamic event in 2008.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Scottish politician who is in the running to become prime minister met with a notorious Hamas commander in 2008, according to a Jewish Chronicle report.

Humza Yousaf, a contender to succeed outgoing prime minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s current health minister, is a member of the left-wing SNP (Scottish National Party.)

The JC reported that Yousaf met with Hamas leader Mohammad Sawalha, also known by his nom de guerre Abu Obaida, about 15 years ago at an event in the UK.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Sawalha has spread the “radical Islamic doctrines of the Muslim Brotherhood to the Muslim community in Britain,” participated in flotillas to Gaza, and aided in the illicit transfer of funds from the U.S. to Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria.

When the JC asked Yousaf if he was aware of Salwaha’s background and terror-supporting activities, the lawmaker did not directly answer the question. Instead, he said that he has a “strong track record of standing up against every form of hatred, including antisemitism.”

Read  Senators call for UN resolution designating Hamas as a terrorist org

Yousaf and Sawalha both attended the 2008 Islam Expo in London, an event funded by the Qatari government. Other attendees included a Pakistani businessman who publicly praised the Taliban and a former UK parliamentarian who said that the “Jewish lobby” controls the U.S. and forces the country to do the bidding of Israel, the JC reported.

The fact that Yousaf met with Sawalha is likely to negatively impact his chances of becoming prime minister, Scottish lawmakers told the JC.

“If these allegations are correct, then Yousaf will come under serious pressure to justify the company he has kept and the interests he has represented,” a Labor party MP told the outlet.

“Yousaf must address the circumstances in which he judged it appropriate to have close contact with Hamas supporters. He has to face these questions head on were he to become First Minister,” Lord Carlile, who independently reviewed Scotland’s anti-terror legislation, told the JC.