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Condemning UK's terror designation of Hamas, Iran FM urges referendum in Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says holding a referendum with the participation of the original inhabitants of Palestine (Muslims, Jews and Christians) is the sole political solution to the Palestinian issue.

In a post on Instagram on Saturday, Amir-Abdollahian condemned the British government's decision to designate Hamas as a terror organization.

"The rights of the Palestinian people cannot be violated by distorting realities," he said.

The British government has announced that it intends to label Hamas “a terrorist organization,” joining the United States, Canada and the European Union in fully banning the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance group, which plays a significant role in defending Palestinian rights against Israel's frequent acts of aggression.

London has since 2001 banned the group’s military wing, known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, across the UK, but it is the first time that the British government sets to ban the Hamas’ political wing.

Earlier on Friday, British Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that she had “acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety,” saying there is no difference between the group’s military and political wings.

Upon parliamentary approval, which is expected within the week, the ban, under the UK’s Terrorism Act of 2000, would make it illegal across the UK to be a member of Hamas, express support for the resistance movement, meet with Hamas members, arrange meetings with its members, fly its flag or even wear clothing indicating support for the group.

Supporters will face a fine or a maximum of 14 years in prison and/or a fine.

Founded in 1987, Hamas is the largest Palestinian resistance movement. Since 2007, it has ruled the besieged Gaza Strip and has since defended the impoverished enclave against four major Israeli wars, including the most recent 11-day conflict that ended in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in May.

In November 2017, it was revealed that Patel, while on a private holiday in Israel in August that year, had unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials, including then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without telling the Foreign Office. The revelation forced her to resign as UK international development secretary over breaching of the ministerial code.

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