United Kingdom designated Hamas as a terror organization, what’s next?

The United Kingdom’s decision on 15th- November. 2021 designated the entirety of Hamas as a terror organization and outlaw support for the group is considered as a major blow for the Islamist group, which carries out significant fundraising there. The UK proscribed the terror group’s military wing – the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades -in 2001. But the Hamas political leadership remained technically in the clear until now.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if they believe it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do. For the purposes of the Act, this means that the organisation: commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism) is otherwise concerned in terrorism.

78 terrorist groups proscribed in the UK
Hamas is one of 78 terrorist groups proscribed in the UK and the third proscription order laid by the Home Secretary within the last year. The group’s supporters could face 14 years in prison in the UK if convicted. Offenses would include flying the Hamas’ flag, arranging meetings of the group or wearing clothing that supports Hamas.
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,” Patel said.The legitimization of Hamas’s political wing “creates an artificial distinction between various parts of the organization – it is right that the listing is updated to reflect this,” she stated.
Priti Patel , home secretary ,told reporters on 19th-November 2021 in Washington DC: “We’ve taken the view that we can no longer disaggregate the sort of military and political side.“It’s based upon a wide range of intelligence, information and also links to terrorism. The severity of that speaks for itself.”

Hamas reacted by saying the decision shows bias towards Israel. By contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the decision “to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation in its entirety, because that’s exactly what it is.”Yair Lapid, the foreign minister of Israel, called the decision the outcome of “joint efforts” in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

“Jeremy Corbyn” in critical position
The implications of the ban were made clear when the Daily Mail gloated, “Jeremy Corbyn [the former Labour Party leader] faces TEN YEARS in jail if he meets his ‘friends’ from Hamas again under new measures to treat supporters of the Palestinian group as terrorists.”In 2009, Corbyn, who has been stripped of his membership of the Parliamentary Labour Party and now sits as an independent MP, described Hamas as “friends” in 2009 during an appeal for dialogue, stating after being attacked that he regretted using the term.

A total of 31 late-stage terror plots have been foiled in the UK in the past four years, the head of MI5 has said. Director general Ken McCallum, who revealed in October 2021 there had been 27 attacks thwarted since 2017, said there had been six during the pandemic.

Proscription Terror Organization can support other disruptive activity including the use of immigration powers such as exclusion, prosecution for other offences, encouraging removal of on-line material, messaging and EU asset freezes. The resources of a proscribed organisation are terrorist property and are, therefore, liable to be seized.
Relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood

The inclusion of Hamas on the terrorist list may be considered an incomplete decision. There is a need to reveal the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain and the Hamas organization, and this raises many speculations about the British government’s position on the Muslim Brotherhood, why is the Muslim Brotherhood’s file not reviewed in Britain since 2015 until now?

What British government needs is to find out administrative relations between Hamas and the Brotherhood, and the relationship is more recognizable through the organizations, associations, financial donations and Islamic relief joint between the two parties.

Putting Hamas organization on the terrorist list is a step in the right direction, and it needs to be strengthened by reviewing the files of political Islam in Britain.

By : Jassim Mohamad – Bonn