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Palestinian resistance groups blast Australia’s decision to list Hamas as ‘terrorist’ group

Palestinian resistance groups have strongly condemned the Australian government’s announcement that it will designate the entire Hamas organization as a terror group, saying the “hostile” measure is in line with Israel’s demands to criminalize the Palestinian nation's resistance to the occupation of its territories.

Khalid al-Battash, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic Jihad movement, described the step as cruel and in conformity with the Tel Aviv regime’s requests to outlaw Palestinians’ struggle to liberate their lands and restore their legitimate and inalienable rights.

Battash stated that Australia’s decision will pave the way for Israeli officials to intensify their aggression against Palestinian people and further violate international treaties and principles.

He went on to note that the designation would cover up the crimes of Israeli occupiers, especially in the occupied West Bank as well as the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East al-Quds.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) also called Australia’s decision a clear support for Israel and its policies, stating that the Australian government, which is known to have an anti-Palestinian stance, should have considered the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Palestinians and the incessant killing of Palestinians.

The PRC termed resistance against the occupying Israeli regime a fundamental right of all Palestinians under the international law.

Moreover, the Palestinian Mujahideen movement denounced the step as a continuation of the West’s aggression against Palestinians and the resistance front.

It stressed that the Australian government’s decision would provide a cover for Israeli occupiers’ crimes against the Palestinian nation.

The movement noted that the measure would double the determination of Hamas resistance movement to firmly continue threading the path of struggle against Israel.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also said that Australia’s decision to list Hamas as terrorist was a clear manifestation of its support for Israel and its endorsement of the occupying regime’s crimes against Palestinians.

The DFLP underlined the inalienable right of Palestinians to defend themselves, their land, their sanctities and their national rights against the carnage and criminal acts of extremist Jewish settlers and Israeli military forces.

Additionally, the Palestinian People’s Party slammed the Australian decision, calling it a clear allegiance to Israel and its aggressive policies.

It called on Australian political parties to press the government to reconsider the move, which runs contrary to all international regulations.

Australia had previously listed Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades military wing as a “terror” group in 2003, but the new designation which will come into force in April, will list the organization in its entirety, including its political wing.

The designation will place restrictions on financing or providing other support to Hamas – with certain offences carrying a 25-year prison sentence.

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, a national coalition of Australians who support Palestinian rights, disagreed with the designation, saying it does nothing to advance the cause of peace and will only create more suffering for the two million people currently living under the 15-year Israeli blockade.

“The government has failed in its duty of searching for a peaceful solution and has shown it applies one set of rules to Palestine and another to Israel,” Network President Bishop George Browning said.

Last November, Britain banned Hamas as a terrorist organization, after Home Secretary Priti Patel pushed for the move.

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, decried the decision at the time, saying it was not going to improve a climate of peace.

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