Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Hamas calls United States designation of Haniyeh as terrorist violation of int'l law

Palestinian demonstrators protested the US President Donald J. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel US Designates Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh as Terrorist
Lillian Steele | 01 February, 2018, 00:50

On Wednesday, the US State Department officially named Ismail Haniyeh, who has been Hamas' political chief since May 2017, a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" (SDGT).

Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007 after ousting rival Palestinian group Fatah.

Hamas, which governs the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, was founded in 1987 on a strategy of armed struggle against the occupation, and has a military wing known as the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Sales said that Haniyeh is a "specially designated global terrorist", meaning that any assets he has in the US will be frozen and will prohibit USA citizens from doing business with him.

It added that Haniyeh has "reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens" and accused Hamas of being "responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks".

The US move follows other steps by the Trump administration that signal a tougher position on Palestinian issues.

Haniyeh has become one of the most prominent figures in Palestine to criticize President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Haniyeh responded to that announcement with a call for a "comprehensive, popular intifadah" to confront Israel and the US.

And, on January 17, the U.S. government chose to cut more than half of its planned funding to the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees - an institution that has been the lifeline to more than five million registered Palestinian refugees for over 70 years.

Originally founded to assist Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, UNRWA continues to operate 70 years later, providing humanitarian assistance and social services to residents of almost 60 refugee camps in the areas neighboring Israel.

Haniyeh, himself, is the son of refugees from the 1948 war.

The Forward reported that hundreds of Palestinians, including many senior Hamas leaders, attended his funeral procession Tuesday.

The terror designations "seek to deny Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra, and HASM the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks", the State Department said.

HASM is a terrorist group that is also active in Egypt, according to the State Department.

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