U.S. places Haniyeh on terrorist blacklist

Feb 01, 2018, 00:47
U.S. places Haniyeh on terrorist blacklist

It added that Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks.

All of their property and interests in property subject to USA jurisdiction will be blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

Hamas - which has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade - had already been on the U.S. terror blacklist since 1997.

Other Hamas officials, including the group's Gaza leader, are also on the list.

The State Department similarly designated three groups - two Muslim Brotherhood splinter groups, and one Iranian-backed group - as terrorists. "Today's actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities".

The movement's leaders considered the U.S. decision as "ridiculous".

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"This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation", it said in a statement.

The Islamist organization has fought three armed campaigns against Israel since 2008.

For his part, Khaled Qadoumi expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting Palestine and for its stances against the U.S. administration's move to recognize the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel.

The U.S. State Department said in a press release it has designated Haniyeh, as well as the jihadist groups Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra and Harakat Sawa'd Misr (HASM) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

He added that Tehran gives Palestinian militant groups "potentially up to $100 million annually".

Haniya, 54, was elected to be the group's political chief in May 2017, replacing Khaled Meshaal. Hamas leader had expressed their support for forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Originally founded to assist Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, UNRWA continues to operate 70 years later, providing humanitarian assistance and social services to residents of almost 60 refugee camps in the areas neighboring Israel.

Haniyeh, who took over as Hamas leader in May, was a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump's decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Haniyeh responded to that announcement with a call for a "comprehensive, popular intifadah" to confront Israel and the US.

Days of sometimes violent demonstrations in the Palestinian territories and other parts of the Middle East ensued.

Christopher Sparks is a veteran journalist who has worked for metropolitan and community newspapers in New York City, Washington, D.C., upstate New York and Florida.

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