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Hamas chief slams UK designation, says group derives legitimacy from Palestinians, freedom-seekers

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)
A man walks past a mural depicting a founder of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in Gaza City on November 19, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

Britain’s decision to outlaw Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has continued to draw condemnations, with the head of Hamas saying the resistance movement derives its legitimacy from the Palestinian nation and the free people of the world.

“These decisions, which are of a political, electoral, and biased nature in favor of Israel, will not find any place or influence among the people, the freedom-seekers, the elites, and the groups that support Palestine,” Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh said on Saturday.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday announced that she had designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, in a move that brings Britain in line with the United States and the European Union.

Britain’s Home Department confirmed that Hamas would be banned under the Terrorism Act and anyone expressing support for it, flying its flag, or arranging meetings for the resistance movement would be in breach of the law.

Haniyeh said Patel’s decision is a “new attack on our people and their rights and is a condemned and deplorable step that depicts [Britain’s] bias toward the Zionist regime.”

The move demonstrates the occupying regime’s attempts to criminalize the struggle of the Palestinian people, he stressed.

This will not “deter us from continuing to defend our people and their rights by all legitimate means through comprehensive resistance,” Haniyeh added.

In a separate statement, Hamas said “resisting occupation by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right granted to people under occupation as stated by the international law.”

Hezbollah urges London to undo designation

Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah also strongly denounced the UK’s decision, saying the move is an unfortunate continuation of London’s bias in favor of the Israeli regime and its policies that are based on murder, terror, massacre, and destruction.

In a statement on Saturday, Hezbollah called on the British government to undo the unjust designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

“Hezbollah believes that this decision will not affect the resisting Palestinian people, Hamas resistance movement and its noble fighters, and the rest of the resistance factions,” the statement read, according to Lebanon’s al-Manar television network.

“On the contrary, the UK decision will reinforce the determination of the Palestinian resistance to fight the enemy until achieving liberation and victory,” it added.

Hamas is on the US list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. The European Union also deems it a terrorist group.

Based in Gaza, Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election, defeating its rival Fatah.

Hamas and Israel clashed most recently in a deadly asymmetrical war in May, during which the Israeli regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, through its incessant bombardment of the Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days.

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