‘Wrong and unfair’: Hezbollah bemoans UK’s banning of Hamas in its entirety

“There is no legitimate part of a terrorist organization, and any attempt to differentiate between parts of a terrorist organization is artificial,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated. 

By Aryeh Savir/TPS

Several terror organizations expressed “shock and dismay” after the UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel laid before the UK’s Parliament on Friday an order to outlaw the Hamas Islamist terrorist movement in its entirety from the UK.

The order states that “Hamas is an organization which calls for the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state under Sharia law and has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. It has long been involved in significant terrorist violence.”

The organization’s military wing is already banned in the UK since March 2001, but “following a new assessment the Home Secretary has concluded it should be proscribed in its entirety. This action will support efforts to protect the British public and the international community in the global fight against terrorism.”

Hamas is already listed in its entirety by the U.S. and European Union.

Proscription makes it a criminal offense in the UK to be a member of, or invite support for the group, with those found guilty facing up to 14 years in prison. The order also enables the removal of online content.

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While giving a keynote speech on security and counter-terrorism at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on Friday, Patel stated that “Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry as well as terrorist training facilities, and it has long been involved in significant terrorist violence.”

“Hamas commits, participates, prepares for and promotes and encourages terrorism. If we tolerate extremism, it will erode the rock of security,” she warned.

The order will come into effect on Friday. Hamas is one of 78 terrorist groups proscribed in the UK and the third prescription order laid by the Home Secretary within the last year.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid welcomed the “important and significant decision that gives UK security forces additional tools to prevent the continued strengthening of the Hamas terrorist organization, including in Britain itself.”

“There is no legitimate part of a terrorist organization, and any attempt to differentiate between parts of a terrorist organization is artificial,” he declared.

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz stated the order “sends a strong message of zero tolerance toward terrorist activities aimed at harming the State of Israel and Jewish communities.”

However, Hamas expressed “shock and dismay” at the order and accused the UK of “continue[ing] with its aggression against the Palestinian people. The UK government should have apologized for its historic sin against the Palestinian people in the shameless Balfour Declaration and the British mandate that handed Palestine to the Israeli occupation. Now, the UK government sides with the aggressor against the victim.”

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Hamas listed a long list of crimes it claimed Israel was committing and labeled them “terrorism,” and called on the international community to “end those double standards and appalling violation of international law that they claim to protect and abide by.”

“The UK should stop being biased towards the Israeli narrative and rush to expiate their awful sin against the Palestinian people committed in the Balfour Declaration by supporting the Palestinians’ struggle for liberation, independence, and return,” the terror organization demanded.

A coalition of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting on Saturday and rejected the UK’s decision as “a dangerous infringement on the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation and confront the aggression that our people have been subjected to for decades.”

The terror organizations warned of the repercussions of this decision, considering it “an expression of direct hostility targeting our Palestinian people and a denial of their right to be liberated from the occupation.”

“This decision represents an extension to the British colonial policy; it is not appropriate for a country such as Britain to place itself in a position of subservience to a fascist, racist state, against the position of the majority of the British people, who oppose the Israeli occupation and its crimes,” they stated, demanding that Britain “immediately reverse this decision and instead take practical steps to atone for its historical sin in the Balfour Declaration before it is too late.”

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They announced they will launch “a national, popular, and legal campaign against this decision and hold a comprehensive, national, popular conference in Gaza Strip to reject and condemn the decision in the next few days.”

“The Palestinian resistance will continue until the terrorist Zionist occupation is expelled from Palestine,” they declared.

The Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon “firmly denounced” the decision, describing it as “wrong and unfair.”

“The British decision is an unfortunate continuation of UK bias toward the Zionist enemy and its policies based on murder, terror, massacres, and destruction,” Hezbollah stated, calling on Britain to “undo this unjust move”.

The decision “will reinforce the determination of the Palestinian resistance to fight the enemy till achieving liberation and victory,” it declared.