Australian Parliamentary Committee Recommends Expanding Terrorist Listing of Hamas
A few weeks ago, I posted how Mike Burgess, the head of Australia’s national security agency ASIO, had told a parliamentary inquiry he backed listing the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
I am happy to read that the parliamentary committee has accepted his recommendation – and also relisted Islamic Jihad as well.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has recommended the government consider listing Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation.
The PJCIS today tabled its report on the Review of the relisting of five organisations as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. This review considered the relisting of al-Shabaab, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
While the Committee supported the relisting of all these organisations under the Criminal Code it has gone a step further, recommending the government expand the listing of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades to include the whole organisation of Hamas. The Committee made a similar recommendation in June 2021 in its Report on the review of the relisting of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code that the listing of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation be expanded to the whole organisation of Hizballah.
Committee Chair Senator James Paterson, said that it was clear from evidence received during this review that the whole organisation of Hamas met the definition of a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code.
‘Currently, the US, Canada and the EU list the whole organisation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation under their respective proscription regimes.
‘The expert evidence provided to the committee overwhelmingly rejected the idea that Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operates independently from the rest of the organisation. There was agreement that Hamas operates as a singular entity with overlapping personnel, finances and structure. In addition, leaders of Hamas have repeatedly made statements which meet the advocacy test for terrorist listing, including direct incitement of acts of violence against Jewish people,’ Senator Paterson said.
As I mentioned in my previous post, if the government accepts the recommendation, this could have interesting implications for supporters of the Hamas government in Gaza, and their ability to enter Australia.