Gaza, MINA – The British authorities’ decision to designate the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas and its political and military wings as a “terrorist organization” came into force yesterday, Friday, in a decision threatening those affiliated with the movement and its supporters with severe prison sentences.
Britain has banned the Al-Qassam Brigades, the movement’s military wing, since 2001, but the British Home Office has now expanded this ban to include the political wing of Hamas, according to a political decision by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, following Israeli pressure, MINA’s Contributor in Gaza.
London had claimed, last week, that “it is no longer possible to differentiate between the two entities, the military and political wing of the movement,” and claimed, in its assessment, that Hamas “commits, participates, prepares, and encourages terrorism.”
The Home Office said that “the Islamic terrorist group Hamas has become today (Friday) a terrorist organization banned in the whole of the United Kingdom after Parliament approval.”
“This means that Hamas members or those who call to support the group could face up to 14 years in prison,” it added.
The Israeli occupation authorities welcomed this step, which came after a similar measure by the United States and the European Union, while Hamas and Palestinian factions described the British move as “a crime against our Palestinian people and all its history of struggle.”
Last Friday, the British Home Secretary announced the designation of Hamas a “terrorist organization”, whose supporters in UK are punished with imprisonment up to 14 years. (L-K-G/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)