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United Kingdom labels Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas as terror

London (The Inside Palestine)- The United Kingdom will designate the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement of Hamas as a terror organization and outlaw support for the group, claiming it “has significant terrorist capability.”

“Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities,” Britain’s interior minister Priti Patel on Friday said in a statement.

“That is why today I have acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.”

The movement will be banned under the Terrorism Act and that anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag or arranging meetings for the organisation would be in breach of the law, the interior ministry confirmed.

Speaking to reporters in Washington on Thursday, Patel said that distinction was no longer defensible.

“We’ve taken the view that we can no longer disaggregate the sort of military and political side,” she said, according to The Guardian. “It’s based upon a wide range of intelligence, information and also links to terrorism. The severity of that speaks for itself.”

Patel will advance the designation through parliament next week, according to The Guardian.

Until now, Britain had banned in 2001 only Hamas’s military wing — the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, but did not extend that designation to its political arm.

Hamas is on the U.S. list of designated foreign terrorist organisations. The European Union also deems it a terrorist movement.

Based in Gaza, Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, defeating its nationalist rival Fatah.

Source: QNN

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