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AIJAC welcomes expanded Hamas listing

Feb 17, 2022

Hamas leadership. 
Photo: Hamas.PS
Hamas leadership. Photo: Hamas.PS

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomes the Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews’ announcement that Australia intends to include the entire Hamas organisation on Australia’s terrorist list.

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.”

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