Hamas in its entirety to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation

February 17, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australian Government has proscribed Hamas in its entirity as a terrorist organisationas well as naming three new groups and extending the listings of others.


Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said: “The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies. “It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out these acts.

Karen Andrews said there is no higher priority for the Morrison Government than the protection of Australians. “The Morrison Government has zero tolerance for violence, and will continue to focus on keeping Australians safe from terrorism and violent extremism.

Among the new named groups is National Socialist Order, formerly known as Atomwaffen Division, is a nationalist and racist violent extremist group based in the United States. The National Socialist Order has plans and advocates for violence in pursuit of its ideological objectives, to initiate a global ‘race war’ and accelerate the collapse of democratic societies. The listing of National Socialist Order will come into effect immediately.

The listing of National Socialist Order will come into effect immediately. The listing of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, and re-listing of Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb and Jemaah Islamiyah will come into effect on 9 April 2022, concurrently with the expiry of the current listings.

The minister said: “I have written to my state and territory counterparts to consult with them on the listing of the entirety of Hamas, and will finalise the listing as soon as possible. Should Hamas be listed, it will replace the current listing of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the Brigades). This listing will bring the Criminal Code into line with Australia’s designation of the entirety of Hamas under Australia’s counter-terrorism financing sanctions regime. The Government currently lists 28 terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. Today’s announcement follows the listing of The Base and the entirety of Hizballah under the Criminal Code in December 2021.”

Described as being “a formality”, the individual states and territories must approve the decisions.

Terrorist organisation offences include penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “This is another important step in the global fight against terrorism,” he said Thursday.

“We applaud the Australian Government for their intention to list the entirety of Hamas a terrorist organization. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization predicated on destabilizing the region and destroying Israel,” Israel’s Embassy in the country stated Wednesday.

Peter Wertheim, the co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “We warmly commend the government and Minister Karen Andrews for this decision, and extend our sincere thanks also to Senator James Patterson, the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, and the members of that committee for recommending this step to the government. It is especially heartening that the decision was guided solely by the evidence as highlighted in the written and oral submissions over the years made by the ECAJ, ZFA and AIJAC. Hamas political leaders have overseen and participated directly in terrorist operations and activities. They have admitted in a variety of contexts that Hamas’s military wing is subordinate to the political leadership, and that assistance from the Iranian regime, aimed at expanding Hamas’s terrorist capacities, extends to the whole organisation. There was thus no justification for limiting the proscription of Hamas to its so-called “military wing”, as was formerly the case. Extending the listing to Hamas in its entirety was overdue but very welcome.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomed the announcement. t

They stated: “At the moment, Australia lists the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades as a terrorist group. In October, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) made a bipartisan recommendation that the Government expand its listing, noting that Hamas as a whole met the definition of a terrorist organisation under Australia’s Criminal Code.

Minister Andrews has now accepted that recommendation. She has also announced that she will add Syrian jihadist groups Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, as well as neo-Nazi group National Socialist Order, previously known as Atomwaffen Division, to Australia’s list of banned terrorist organisations.”

“For many years, AIJAC has been arguing that Australia’s partial listing of Hamas was inadequate,” AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said.

“Hamas’ political leadership have complete command and control over the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ terrorist operations – worse, they directly participate in them.

“Hamas is a terrorist organisation dedicated to the destruction of a Jewish state in Israel.

“Hamas is active in our region, with long-standing operations in Malaysia and a recently foiled plot to kill Jews and Israelis in Philippines.

“The Australian Government and the Australian Labor Opposition, which also supported this expanded listing, continues to act in a principled manner and in the interests of the security of all Australians against violent terrorists around the world.”

AIJAC also welcomes the additional listings of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, as well as the neo-Nazi organisation National Socialist Order.

“Syria continues to be a safe haven and training ground for jihadists,” Dr Rubenstein said.

“We know that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups are trying to recruit members among Australians protesting against COVID-19 public health measures. Any tools the Government has at its disposal to restrict the dangerous activity of these groups should be used.”

The Zionist Federation of Australia’s president Jeremy Leibler said: “By taking this decision, the Minister has made clear Australia’s absolute rejection of hatred and terrorism. There is absolutely no doubt that Hamas in its entirety meets the definition of terrorist organisation. Not only is this decision the right one in terms of Australian law, it also brings Australia into alignment with the UK, Canada, US and EU positions on Hamas.”

“I commend the important and bipartisan work of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which recommended the Minister proscribe Hamas”, he said.

The ZFA made a submission to the Intelligence and Security Committee, urging it to recommend to the Minister that she proscribe Hamas in its entirety.

Dr Carlill said: “The idea that Australia could artificially differentiate between different parts of Hamas never really passed the pub test. This decision rights a wrong, and what’s really important is that it was bipartisan.”

The Australian Jewish Association’s president president Dr David Adler said, “This principled and logical move follows a similar move against Hezbollah last year and is welcomed by the Australian Jewish Association.”

He added: “The idea that terrorist groups can operate independent political wings is fiction. Australia is a safer place with this move in place, and it cements the Morrison Government’s strong record of standing up to Islamist terrorism. Importantly it also means it is illegal for Australians to financially support Hamas.”


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