Australia to list Hamas and US far-right group as terrorists | News | DW | 17.02.2022

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Australia to list Hamas and US far-right group as terrorists

The Australian government has called the two groups' views "deeply disturbing." Supporting them could lead to 25 years in jail.

Fighters of various Palestinian resistance groups parade during a joint military exercise that took place in the Gaza Strip in December 2021

Australia has previously listed Hamas' military wing as a terror organization

Australia has said it is to designate the entirety of the militant Palestinian group Hamas and the US far-right group National Socialist Order as terrorist organizations.

Hamas' paramilitary wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, was first listed as a terror organization in 2003. Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews says she has now written to state governments to rubberstamp the listing of Hamas' political wing as soon as possible.

"It's vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance, and carry out these acts," Andrews said.

She described Hamas's views as "deeply disturbing" and "hateful."

The National Socialist Order, which advocates a global "race war," also joined the list on Thursday.

Australia's decision means financing or providing other support to the groups will now be a criminal offense carrying prison sentences of up to 25 years.

Israel welcomes Australia's move against Hamas

Hamas is in charge of the Gaza Strip and a counter group to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the Australian move, writing on Twitter that it marked "another important step in the global fight against terrorism."

 

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, a national coalition of Australians who support Palestinian rights said the designation does nothing to advance the cause of peace.

"The government has failed in its duty of searching for a peaceful solution and has shown it applies one set of rules to Palestine and another to Israel,'' Network President Bishop George Browning said"

Australia is the latest Western nation after the United States, European Union, Britain, and Canada to list Hamas as a terror organization.

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Far-right groups also included on the terror list

The National Socialist Order, formerly known as Atomwaffen Division, is only the third far-right group designated by Australia as a terrorist organization.

The Base, a neo-Nazi white supremacist group, formed in the US in 2018, was listed in December, and the British-based Sonnenkrieg Division was listed in August.

lo/rt (AP, AFP)