UK - UK set to declare ‘rabidly antisemitic’ Hamas is a terrorist organization

The U.K. government is set to proscribe Hamas under the country’s Terrorism Act, under plans that will be announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday.

Anyone who “recklessly” supports the Palestinian group, arranges meetings to back it, invites people to endorse it or is a member will face up to 10 years in prison under new laws to be tabled in the U.K. parliament.

“Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic,” Patel will say during a speech in Washington on Friday, according to multiple media reports. “antisemitism 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.”

Hamas, which was founded in 1987, holds a majority in the Palestinian parliament and is the largest of several Palestinian militant Islamic groups. The U.K. has previously banned its military wing, but the ban will now extend to the group’s political arm.

It has already been designated as a terrorist group by the EU, U.S., and Canada.

In Washington, Patel is also expected to say: “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. But the current listing of Hamas creates an artificial distinction between various parts of the organization, it is right that the listing is updated to reflect this.”

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a tweet on Friday morning he welcomed “the UK’s intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in its entirety, because that’s exactly what it is.”

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