US State Department labels Haniyeh as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” along with three others; Tillerson: Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.
The United States officially added Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh to its terror list, labeling him a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”.
The State Department confirmed the reports, announcing that it added four predominant terrorists to its list, and that “Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”
Specifically on Ismail Haniyeh, it stated that he “has been involved in Hamas’s campaign of terrorism against Israel for years and even decades. The United States is not fooled by any attempt by Hamas to re-brand itself. We know it for what it is, a terror organization committed to the destruction of the State of Israel.”
Hamas was labeled a terrorist organization and blacklisted by the United States in 1997. The EU and UK have also labeled Hamas a terrorist organization.
Hamas responded Wednesday, claiming the move was to “pressure the resistance”, a spokesman stating Wednesday “The American decision to include Haniyeh on the terrorist list is a failed attempt to pressure the resistance. This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation.”
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed Haniyeh, stating on Tuesday “these designations target key terrorist groups and leaders – including two sponsored and directed by Iran – who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel. Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.”
Photo: Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, Wikimedia Commons, 2018