Middle East

PLO slams US for listing Hamas leader as a terrorist

PLO slams US for listing Hamas leader as a terrorist

Jerusalem: The Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Saeb Erekat on Thursday slammed the US decision to add Islamic Hamas movement leader Ismail Haniyeh to its “terrorist list”.

“PLO rejects and condemns the US finance department’s decision to add Islamic Hamas movement chief Ismail Haniyeh to the terrorist list,” Erekat said in a press statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

He urged an end to internal divisions and the achievement of national unity in order to protect the national project to fight back the “schemes that aim at liquidating this national project.”

The US State Department on Wednesday added Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to its terrorist list.

Haniyeh, leader and chief of the Political Bureau of Hamas, was designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) together with three other groups.

All of their properties and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction will be blocked, and US citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them. They will also be denied access to the US financial system.

Hamas leaders said they considered the US decision “ridiculous”.

“This will never break our determination to carry on with resistance and stick to it until getting rid of the Israeli occupation,” said Hamas spokesman in Gaza Hazem Qassem.

In 1997 Hamas was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and in 2001 as an SDGT by the US.

The US State Department said Haniyeh “has reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens”.

It added that Hamas has been responsible for the death of 17 US citizens killed in terrorist attacks.

—IANS