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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Hamas Leader Now In U.S Official Terrorist Blacklist


Hamas Leader Now In U.S Official Terrorist Blacklist

Ismail Haniyeh is pictured. | Getty Images
Ismail Haniyeh

On Wednesday, the U.S government officially added Ismail Haniyeh who happens to be the leader of the Palestinian militant movement to it's official terrorist blacklist, designating him(and his group) and three other related groups as terrorist subsequently imposing sanctions on all of them

In a statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that “these designations target key terrorist groups and leaders — including two sponsored and directed by Iran — who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel. Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.”

Hamas, which as a group was first placed on the blacklist in 1997, responded from Gaza, calling Wednesday’s move a “failed attempt to pressure the resistance” and saying it wasn’t discouraged by the label.

Ismail Haniyeh, who has reportedly been linked to attacks against Israeli and American citizens, became the political leader of Hamas in 2017. He called for protests in Gaza in December following President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,” Haniyeh said in a speech at the time. “We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision.”

By being placed on the blacklist, Haniyeh — a former prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority who was removed from the post in 2007 during his faction’s conflict with rival Fatah — will see any U.S.-based assets frozen, and will be prohibited from having any partnerships with the U.S.

Three other groups — the Iranian-backed Harakat al-Sabireen and two Egypt-based groups, Liwa al-Thawra and Harakat Sawa’d Misr — were also put on the list.

The State Department also said the purpose of the designations was to track terrorist groups that pose a threat.

“Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawa’d Misr have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism,” the department said in a statement. “Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”