UK Says It Will Make Hamas A Banned Terrorist Organization


LONDON (AP) — The British government said Friday that it intends to ban the Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The military wing of Hamas has been outlawed in the U.K. since 2001 but the organization as a whole is not proscribed.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is in charge of law and order issues, said on Twitter that she had “acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.”

She said the group “has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that “Hamas will be proscribed as a terrorist organization,” saying the move “will help tackle the scourge of antisemitism.”

A ban, which must be approved by Parliament, would make it illegal in Britain to be a member of Hamas or to express support for the group, with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

The government said it hoped the banning order would be approved by Parliament within the week and take effect Nov. 26.

Hamas, a Palestinian group that opposes Israel’s existence, has governed the Gaza Strip since taking over the area in 2007, a year after it won a Palestinian election.

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union.

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