Reactions continued to the British government’s decision to ban the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and Khalil al-Hayya, a leader in the movement, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera that London will bear the brunt of any Israeli escalation as a result of its decision.
Al-Hayya stated that Hamas will communicate with the international community to reject the decision. He also called on the British Parliament to refrain from passing a law banning the movement.
The leader – who heads the movement’s Arab and Islamic relations office – stressed that Hamas does not see a political path that grants the Palestinian people their rights at the present time.
Earlier, Hamas issued a statement condemning the decision of British Home Secretary Priti Patel, and said that Britain supports the aggressors at the expense of the victims “instead of apologizing and correcting its sins against the Palestinian people.”
She stressed that resisting occupation by all means, including armed resistance, is a right guaranteed to peoples in international law, while “killing indigenous people, displacing them by force, demolishing their homes, imprisoning them, besieging them, and attacking their sanctities, is terrorism,” according to the statement.
The Palestinian Embassy condemns
For its part, the Palestinian Embassy in the United Kingdom condemned the British government’s decision, and considered it “a dangerous alignment with the agenda of the occupying power, which seeks to criminalize the struggle of the Palestinian people as a whole and kill the chances of reaching a just solution based on international law and resolutions.”
And she added – in a statement – that the British government’s approach “constitutes a blatant bias towards the occupying state and a violation of international law and Britain’s historical responsibility towards the Palestinian people,” and called on it to immediately reverse this step and focus on the application of international law that criminalizes the practices of the occupation.
On the other hand, the Palestinian factions will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow, Saturday, to discuss the British decision banning Hamas with all its political and military components.
The Islamic Jihad movement condemned the British decision, describing it in a statement as “hostile and unjust, affecting the Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle for freedom and the restoration of their land and rights,” stressing that the resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people.
Likewise, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced this decision and demanded Britain to reverse it, as it considered that it targets the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people.
For its part, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine warned of the repercussions of the British decision, and considered it “a new and clear disregard for the principles of international law and an extension of the same policies that produced the Balfour Declaration.”
On the other hand, Israel welcomed the British decision, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett described Hamas as a terrorist organization with all its branches, and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described this step as an achievement of Israeli foreign policy.
In Britain, the Chairman of the Defense Committee in the House of Commons, Representative Tobias Ellwood, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that he rejects any approach “to fuel conflict in the Middle East.”
He pointed out that Hamas “continues its approach despite the existence of opportunities for the peace process,” as he put it.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed that the international organization will continue to deal with the authorities in the Gaza Strip, and will leave it to member states to make their decisions.
This came in response to a question about Britain’s ban on Hamas, and the extent to which this might affect the work of the United Nations in Gaza.
And the British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that she had submitted an order in the British Parliament on Friday to amend Chapter Two of the Terrorism Act 2000 to ban the entire Hamas movement, including its political wing.
She said Hamas has “significant terrorist capabilities, including access to dangerous and sophisticated weapons as well as facilities for training terrorists…but the current classification of Hamas artificially distinguishes between the movement’s wings,” referring to the originally imposed ban on the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the movement’s military wing.
“It is right to update that list to reflect this amendment. It is an important step, especially for the Jewish community,” Patel added.