UK Home Secretary Patel Says 'Acted to Proscribe Hamas in Its Entirety'
12:21 GMT 19.11.2021 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Adel HanaMasked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, march with their rifles along the main road of the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, 28 October 2021.
© AP Photo / Adel Hana
In a speech slated for later in the day, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel will reportedly say that Britain blacklisting Hamas as a terrorist organisation will help "strengthen the case against anyone" waving a Hamas flag in the country, "an act that is bound to make Jewish people feel unsafe".
The UK is expected to ban Hamas as a terrorist organisation amid media reports, citing excerpts of a speech by Home Secretary Priti Patel that is slated to be delivered later in the day.
The Guardian reported that the announcement will be made during a speech on security in Washington and that she would say that designating Hamas a terrorist organisation under the Terrorism Act is an important step towards protecting the Jewish community.
"Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism is an enduring evil, which I will never tolerate. Jewish people routinely feel unsafe – at school, in the streets, when they worship, in their homes, and online", she will reportedly say.
Amid media reports on the planned move, Patel took to Twitter, saying that she "acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety".
According to The Guardian report, Patel told reporters in Washington, DC, on Thursday that the government "has taken the view" that it "can no longer disaggregate the sort of military and political side". Right now, the military wing of Hamas is banned in the UK, which now intends to ban the group as such.
Today I have taken action to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 19, 2021
This government is committed to tackling extremism and terrorism wherever it occurs. pic.twitter.com/TQfPzomyIm
Patel also reportedly said that Downing Street's decision to blacklist Hamas is "based upon a wide range of intelligence, information, and also links to terrorism. The severity of that speaks for itself".
© AFP 2023 / Geoff RobinsPriti Patel, the United Kindom's Secretary of State for International Development speaks at the closing of the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Montreal, Quebec, September 17, 2016
Priti Patel, the United Kindom's Secretary of State for International Development speaks at the closing of the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Montreal, Quebec, September 17, 2016
© AFP 2023 / Geoff Robins
The Guardian claimed that the home secretary plans to push through the Hamas blacklisting in parliament next week, something that she said would add to tackling anti-Semitism.
According to the excerpts of Patel's speech, the UK home secretary will note 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".
In line with the Terrorism Act, any expression of support for Hamas, flying their flag, or holding a meeting for the organisation is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, for his part, tweeted that he welcomes "the UK's intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation in its entirety — because that's exactly what it is".
The Hamas-Israel tensions escalated in May, when the militant group fired more than 600 rockets from the Gaza Strip at the territory of the Jewish state, prompting the Israel Defence Forces to retaliate.
The exchange followed a spike in bilateral tensions in the wake of an Israeli court ruling to evict several Palestinian families from Jerusalem. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces near the Al-Aqsa Mosque as the nation celebrated Jerusalem Day, commemorating Israel's takeover of the Old City following the 1967 Six-Day War.
11 September 2021, 23:59 GMT
Hamas, which was founded in 1987, won a majority in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections and reinforced its power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 by ousting its rivals from the Fatah faction.
The European Union, Israel, Canada, the United States, and Japan consider Hamas to be a terrorist organisation, while it is entirely banned in Jordan. Britain, along with Australia, currently condemn the movement's military wing only. Hamas is not seen as a terrorist organisation by Iran, Russia, Turkey, China, and some Arab nations.