TEL AVIV — Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction, condemned on Wednesday the decision by the U.S. State Department to designate Hamas’s politburo leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as a specially designated global terrorist.
A statement released by the State Department said that Haniyeh maintains connections with Hamas’s so-called military wing and is involved in attacks on civilians. Hamas’s “military wing” is responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks.
“Ismail Haniyeh has been involved in Hamas’ campaign of terrorism against Israel for years and even decades,” Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, stated. “The United States is not fooled by any attempt by Hamas to rebrand itself. We know it for what it is, a terror organization committed to the destruction of the State of Israel.”
In response, Hamas released a statement saying that Haniyeh is a prime minister elected by a majority of the Palestinian people and that his inclusion on the list of terrorists is a dangerous development “and a violation of international law, which gives the Palestinian people the right to defend themselves, to fight the occupation and elect its leadership.”
Hamas failed to mention its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians.
It was also written in the statement that the American decision is a “cover” for Israel to continue its “crimes” against the Palestinian people “and a green light to harm their leader.”
Hamas apologists on social media also responded to the American inclusion of Haniyeh on the terrorism list.
“Crusaders and Zionists full of hate: American State Department decides Haniyeh and other figures are terrorists threatening the stability of the Middle East,” tweeted Hamed al-Ali, a Kuwaiti cleric.
The Twitter account Palestine Post criticized the decision, writing at the end of their post, “We swear to Allah, the decision should be a source of pride.”
“When the Americans include Haniyeh on the terror list, we have nothing to say but that we are proud of terror,” wrote Palestinian Layla Kilani. “Is it possible to earn a greater achievement than this? Because the respectable man only fights the enemies of Allah.”
Majed al-Raiisi, a media figure in the United Arab Emirates, wrote about the meeting between Qatar and America that was held yesterday in the U.S., tweeting, “Yesterday Qatar paid billions for declarations of American support. Today, the U.S. puts Ismail Haniyeh, who is close to the Qatari regime, on the terror list. As usual, your money went to nothing.”
“Stand proudly and wave the flag of victory,” wrote Adaham Abu Salmiyeh, a Palestinian journalist and activist close to Hamas, alongside a photo of Haniyeh making the V-for-victory sign.
“Hamas leaders are between the oppression of the Israeli occupation inside and the American siege outside,” wrote Amro Abdulhadi, an Islamist politician in Egypt. “The people who are happier about Haniyeh’s place on the terror list are Muhamad Dahlan (a Fatah official), Muhamad bin Zayed (Emirati crown prince) and Sissi (Egyptian president).”
“The American inclusion of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on the terror list proves for the millionth time that the current president of the U.S. is a criminal called a president because of his job,” wrote Egyptian journalist Ahmad Abdeljawad. “It also proves that Hamas continues to worry the Zionists.”
The Twitter account of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, a girl who became famous for slapping an Israeli soldier and whose account is being run by her father since she was arrested by Israeli authorities, tweeted, “Congratulations to the leader and national symbol Ismail Haniyeh. We say to the enemies of our people that the threats of the occupation and the terror lists of the American government don’t scare us.”
Abdullah Sharif, an Egyptian Islamist poet wrote, “Ismail Haniyeh, if you are a terrorist as they’ve catalogued you, then I’m following in your footsteps.”