Home Secretary Karen Andrews announced on Thursday that the Australian government intends to list the entirety of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as a terrorist organization under Australia’s criminal code.
Founded in 1987, Hamas was originally a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar Hassan al-Bannain in 1928. Since its founding, Hamas has become a Religiously and ideologically motivated extremist organization and political party that has fused Palestinian nationalism with Sunni Islamist aims. Hamas has been Gaza’s governing body since its elections in 2006 and is responsible for providing government services and administration in Gaza.
Recently, Hamas has prioritized its nationalist goals over its religious goals. The current main objective of the group is the establishment of an independent Islamic Palestinian state comprising Gaza, the West Bank and the territory of Israel.
According to Minister Andrews: “The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply troubling, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies.” She went on to say, “It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance and carry out these acts.
Australia has just listed three other groups as terrorist organizations: Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din, which are based in Syria, and the National Socialist Order, a US-based group. Australia has also re-listed four other Islamist militant groups: the Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb Lands and Jemaah Islamiyah.
In November, Australia listing two other organizations, the Base and Hezballah, as terrorist organizations. During the same month, the UK present a Prohibition Order in Parliament to enact a complete ban on Hamas from the UK.