Government recommended to proscribe Hamas 100% as a terrorist organisation

October 14, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has recommended the government consider listing Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation.

The Hamas flag  Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

The PJCIS today tabled its report on the Review of the relisting of five organisations as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. This review considered the relisting of al-Shabaab, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

While the Committee supported the relisting of all these organisations under the Criminal Code it has gone a step further, recommending the government expand the listing of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades to include the whole organisation of Hamas.

The Committee made a similar recommendation in June 2021 in its Report on the review of the relisting of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code that the listing of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation be expanded to the whole organisation of Hizballah.

Committee Chair Senator James Paterson said that it was clear from evidence received during this review that the whole organisation of Hamas met the definition of a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code.

‘Currently, the US, Canada and the EU list the whole organisation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation under their respective proscription regimes.

‘The expert evidence provided to the committee overwhelmingly rejected the idea that Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operates independently from the rest of the organisation. There was agreement that Hamas operates as a singular entity with overlapping personnel, finances and structure. In addition, leaders of Hamas have repeatedly made statements which meet the advocacy test for terrorist listing, including direct incitement of acts of violence against Jewish people,’ Senator Paterson said.

The Zionist Federation of Australia welcomed the report and called on the Minister for Home Affairs to act on it.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “That Hamas meets the definition of a terrorist organisation is obvious to anyone who examines Hamas’s actions, statements and intentions. I thank the Committee for its willingness to engage on this issue. The bipartisan nature of the Committee’s report shows that Parliament is united on the need to proscribe the entire organisation. This is a welcome development.”

In his remarks to the Committee at its public hearing, ZFA Director of Public Affairs Bren Carlill said: “As she did with Hezbollah, the Minister—on the advice of the public service—has maintained that there is a distinction between the armed part of Hamas and those parts of Hamas that do not bear arms. But this distinction is a fiction. The history, actions and statements of the Hamas leadership prove this… Even if one is determined to maintain this fictional distinction, the political wing of Hamas meets the definition of terrorist organisation, in and of itself.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said commented:  “For many years, AIJAC has argued that Hamas must be treated as a unitary entity because all of Hamas has been and remains committed to using terrorism to achieve its ends.”

He added: “We thank the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for giving full consideration to a range of evidence, including from AIJAC, in assessing Australia’s treatment of Hamas.

We are also grateful that the committee acknowledged that Hamas’ murderous intent extends to all Jewish people and note the following comment in the committee’s report: ‘In particular the Committee noted the violent rhetoric of the political leadership of Hamas, and how in many cases this goes beyond statements about armed struggle against the State of Israel to outright incitement of violence against Jewish people and very clearly meets the advocacy test set out in the Criminal Code.’

We urge Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews to seriously consider the bipartisan recommendations of this committee. The committee has done excellent and thorough work in reaching this conclusion, which is supported by Australia’s Director-General of ASIO Mike Burgess.”

In its report, tabled in Parliament on October 14, the committee agreed that the Australian Government should re-list the Hamas Izz al-Din al- Qassam Brigades under Australia’s terrorist listing protocols. The Hamas Brigades have been on Australia’s terrorist list since 2003. But for the first time, the committee recommended that the Australian Government expand that listing. In citing the reasons for this, the committee correctly noted that there is no evidence that Hamas considers its Izz al-Din al- Qassam Brigades to be a separate entity.

The committee also noted that the ideology of Hamas, as a whole, is violent and Hamas makes no attempt to hide this and that officials from the Department of Home Affairs are not aware of any rationale as to why Australia does not already list Hamas in its entirety, leaving the path open for a more comprehensive listing in the future.

Peter Wertheim, co-CEO of the The Executive Council of Australian Jewry said: The members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, chaired by Senator James Patterson, are to be commended for producing a thorough and well-considered report.

Since the so-called “military wing” of Hamas (the al-Qassam Brigades) was first proscribed as a terrorist entity by Australia in 2003, the ECAJ has been arguing that the listing should be extended to Hamas in its entirety.

Hamas’s “political” leaders have overseen and participated directly in terrorist operations and activities. They have admitted in a variety of contexts that the al-Qassam Brigades are subordinate to the political leadership, and that assistance from the Iranian regime, aimed at expanding Hamas’s terrorist capacities, extends to the whole organisation.

The organisation operates with a single totalitarian heart and mind, guided by its infamous, genocidal founding document, the Hamas Covenant.  The scarcely less appalling Hamas policy statement in 2017 is now widely seen as a disingenuous pitch to a supposedly gullible western audience to soften its image.

In Australia, at least, the audience has now clearly demonstrated that it was not gullible after all. The Committee has seen right through Hamas, and the Committee’s report has laid bare the terrorist and racist essence of Hamas from top to bottom.  The Committee deserves high praise for its diligence and insight.


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