Australia on Thursday announced it will designate Hamas in its entirety as a terror group. Until Thursday, Australia had only deemed Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, to be a terrorist organization.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, who made the announcement, said it was “vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance and carry out these acts. 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.”
“With this declaration, Australia joins the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and others in recognizing the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted. “The Foreign Ministry is leading, together with additional partners, an international effort targeting terrorist organizations, and Australia’s declaration is an important step in that effort.”
“Hamas’s attempts to paint itself as ‘legitimate’ are a farce,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. “And they’re not fooling anyone. The world is growing to see Hamas for what it is: It’s a radical Islamic group that targets innocent civilians, Israelis — mothers, fathers, children — and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.”
Bennett went on to thank “my friend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, for the action he’s taking following our discussions on this matter… I thank Australia for standing strong in the face of terror and for remaining a strong and true friend of Israel.”