The Iranian foreign minister has strongly slammed the UK’s right-wing Tory government’s move to classify Palestine’s historic resistance movement Hamas as a “terrorist organization,” emphasizing that the Palestinian nation’s rights cannot be infringed on by falsifying facts. “We strongly reject the United Kingdom’s decision to designate HAMAS as a terrorist organization. The rights of Palestinians cannot be violated by falsifying facts. The only political answer for Palestine is to organize a referendum among all indigenous citizens,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated in a message posted on his official Twitter account on Friday night.
His remarks came shortly after the British government declared its plan to designate Hamas a “terrorist organization,” joining the United States, Canada, and the European Union in entirely outlawing the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement, which plays a key role in protecting Palestinian human rights against regular aggression by the Zionist Israeli regime. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the movement’s military branch, have been banned in the UK since 2001, but this is the first time the UK government is considering banning Hamas’ political branch.
Priti Patel, the UK’s Home Secretary, had earlier tweeted that she had “moved to criminalize Hamas in its totality,” claiming that the group’s military and political branches are one and the same. The ban, enacted under the UK’s Terrorism Act of 2000, would make it unlawful to be a participant of Hamas, express sympathy for the resistance group, meet with Hamas members, hoist its flag, or even dress up in apparel that indicates support for the group across the UK if it receives parliamentary approval, which is anticipated within a week. Hamas sympathizers might be fined or sentenced to up to 14 years in jail.
Hamas is the biggest Palestinian resistance organization, having been established way back in 1987. It has administered the beleaguered Gaza Strip from 2007 and has guarded the impoverished territory against four major Israeli assaults, the most recent of which concluded in a truce negotiated by Egypt in May. Patel held unapproved meetings with Israeli leaders, including then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while on a private trip to Israel in August of 2017, without informing the Foreign Office, it was disclosed in November of that same year. She was compelled to resign as a result of the discovery since she had broken the ministerial code.
“Instead of apologizing and repairing its historical sin against the Palestinian people, Britain supports the aggressors at the expense of the victims,” Hamas said in a statement released on Friday. The resistance organization was alluding to the Balfour Declaration and London’s historical role in the creation of Israel, the occupying power. The Balfour Declaration was written in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a prominent British Jew. On November 2, 1917, it was published. The declaration was issued during World War I and was included in the British Mandate for Palestine when the Ottoman Empire was disbanded. It is largely regarded as the forerunner of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, when armed Zionist militias violently removed over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.