by: Ilse Strauss
Thursday, 17 February 2022 | Australia today announced it would designate the entire Hamas movement as a terrorist organization, joining the ranks of Israel, the United States, Britain, Canada, Japan, Egypt and the European Union, who have already assigned the radical Sunni Islamist group to the red list.
Hamas’s military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has been on Canberra’s terror list since 2003, but the updated delegation now outlaws the entire organization.
In practical terms, the blacklisting prohibits Australians from financing or providing Hamas with support, with some transgressions punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Announcing the decision, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said, “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.
“It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance and carry out these acts,” she continued.
The announcement comes three months after Canberra also outlawed Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror organization perched on Israel’s northern border and Iran’s most powerful terror proxy in the Middle East.
Israel welcomed today’s news, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hailing it as “another important step in the global fight against terrorism.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also weighed in on Twitter, thanking “our Australian partners for designating the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization—including its political wing which plans, finances, and conducts terror activities. Hamas targets civilians, threatens the State of Israel, and holds Gaza residents hostage.”
Hamas, the de facto ruler of the nearly 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, has a three-decade track mrecord of war, horror, bloodshed and oppression—towards Israel and its own people alike. The fanatic regime is an archenemy of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is a close ally and financial beneficiary of Iran. It wages continuous war on Israel through missile attacks and suicide bombings, uses its women and children as human shields, and utilizes international aid money to build terror tunnels and manufacture the means of Israel’s demise.
The Hamas charter, published in 1988, highlights the destruction of Israel as one of the organization’s main purposes. The manifesto is clear that Hamas opposes Israel’s existence in any form, seeks to replace the Jewish state with a Palestinian one and calls for jihad (holy war) to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” While a supposedly more moderate charter was issued in 2017, the group still refuses to recognize Israel’s existence.
Israel and Hamas have faced each other on the battlefield three times. The months between the official conflicts are marked by rocket attacks, flare-ups, infiltration and kidnapping attempts, violent riots and tense calm.
While Israel suffers the onslaught of its fanatic neighbor, the civilians in Gaza arguably pay the heaviest price for their rulers’ obsession. Apart from subjecting its people to repeated wars, abysmal living conditions and offering no hope for the future, Hamas makes no bones about using its civilians as human shields, sending women and children onto the frontlines and firing rockets from hospitals and schools. The situation has led those in the know to conclude that Gaza is indeed under siege—not from Israel, but from Hamas.
Posted on February 17, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 17, 2022)
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