Jerusalem24 – Today, Thursday, Australia announced its intention to designate Hamas, with its military and political wing, a “terrorist organization”, becoming the latest Western country to take this step.
Canberra had previously included the Al-Qassam Brigades affiliated with Hamas on its list of “terrorists”, but the new designation includes the entire organization.
“The views of Hamas and other violent extremist groups that have been included in the list today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies,” Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said while announcing the eight organizations’ designation.
The classification will place restrictions on the financing of Hamas and any kind of support for it, and some activities related to the movement may carry a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
“It is imperative that our laws target not only terrorist activities and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance and carry out these acts,” Andrews added.
Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since 2007 after Hamas seized power in it, and the United States has long designated Hamas a “terrorist organization”.
A similar decision by the European Union was the subject of a long judicial dispute in the courts, which eventually led to the return of Hamas to the “terrorist” list.