The United States yesterday listed the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, on the terrorism list.
According to a statement issued by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Assets Control (OFAC), published on its official website yesterday, the United States “added Haniyeh to the list of global terrorists”.
The decision also included the movement of the Palestinian Al-Sabirin and Hasm and Lewa Al-Thawra in Egypt.
For his part, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson justified the inclusion of Haniyeh and the three movements as “fundamental terrorist movements and figures” which threaten stability in the Middle East, undermine the peace process and attack US allies Egypt and Israel.
He said that the measures taken against the head of Hamas and the three Palestinian and Egyptian movements aim to deprive them of the resources they need to plan and launch terrorist attacks.
Hamas has been on the United States’ terrorism list since 1997 and was re-listed in 2001 as a terrorist organisation.
The movement yesterday slammed the US decision as “ridiculous”.
It was a failed attempt to keep pressure on the Palestinian armed resistance, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Hazem Qassem, said in an emailed statement to China’s Xinhua news site.
“This will never break our determination to carry on with resistance and stick to it until getting rid of the Israeli occupation,” said Qassem.