Britain’s interior ministry announced on Friday that Hamas would be banned under the Terrorism Act and that anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag or arranging meetings for the organization would be in breach of the law. Violators liable to face up to 10 years in prison.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel will make the announcement Friday during an event in Washington, DC, according to a statement from the embassy. In 2001, Britain banned Hamas’s military wing — the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
In her speech on Friday, Patel will call Hamas “rabidly antisemitic.” The statement emphasizes this aspect of the terrorist organization’s activities, noting that the new legislation will add to the security of Britain’s Jewish citizens.
Among many other anti-Semitic statements, Article 7 of the Hamas covenant states, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”
“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’s prepared remarks said, according to a statement from the British Embassy in Israel.
“But the current listing of Hamas creates an artificial distinction between various parts of the organization – it is right that the listing is updated to reflect this. This is an important step, especially for the Jewish community. If we tolerate extremism, it will erode the rock of security.”
“Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic,” she will say. “Antisemitism is an enduring evil which I will never tolerate. Jewish people routinely feel unsafe – at school, in the streets, when they worship, in their homes, and online.
“This step will strengthen the case against anyone who waves a Hamas flag in the United Kingdom, an act that is bound to make Jewish people feel unsafe.”