Australia to list Hamas as terrorist group

Designation will place restrictions on financing or providing other support to the Palestinian movement

Hamas fighters take part in a funeral procession for a member of the movement, at a camp for Palestinian refugees near the Lebanese city of Tyre, last year. AFP
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Australia on Thursday said it would list the Palestinian Hamas movement as a terrorist organisation, the latest Western nation to do so.

The country had previously listed the military wing of Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades, as a terror group, but the new designation will list the organisation in its entirety.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has vowed to “liberate” Jerusalem by force and has frequently carried out attacks on Israeli targets.

“Today, I can announce that the [Scott] Morrison government intends to list the entirety of Hamas under the Criminal Code,” said Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.

Al Qassam Brigades has been listed by Australia since 2003.

"This listing under the criminal code will bring it into line with Australia’s designation of the entirety of Hamas under Australia’s counterterrorism financing sanctions regime," said Ms Andrews.

“The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies."

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the views of Hamas and other violent extremist groups are deeply disturbing. AP

The designation will place restrictions on financing or providing other support to Hamas – with certain offences carrying a 25-year prison sentence.

“It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out these acts,” Ms Andrews said.

Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Hamas took power in the impoverished enclave.

The US has long designated Hamas a terror group.

Australia also announced the listing Hay’at Tahrir Al Sham, Hurras Al Din and the National Socialist Order, formerly known as the as Atomwaffen Division, as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code.

Updated: February 17, 2022, 5:35 AM
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