Israel-Gaza War, New Zealand

Victory for Israeli PR: Another country to label Hamas as a terrorist organization

The government in New Zealand has placed Hamas on its terror list. "The attacks on October 7 shattered the idea that the political and military arms of Hamas could be separated."

Hamas leaders in Gaza (Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

In another victory for Israeli PR, the Hamas terrorist group organization joined the blacklist of terrorist organizations in another western state. In a decision made this morning (Thursday), New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced that Hamas bears responsibility for the October 7 massacre in southern Israel and will be declared a terrorist organization.

In a joint statement delivered by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters it was noted that the island nation has defined the military wing of Hamas as a terrorist entity since 2010 but that: "The attacks on October 7 shattered the idea that the political and military arms of Hamas can be separated," and that, "the organization as a whole bears responsibility for these terrible terrorist attacks." Along with the announcement, the New Zealand government decided to take active measures and announced a move that results in the freezing of Hamas assets in the country and a ban on providing it with "material support."

This step by the Prime Minister of New Zealand is not obvious considering the political climate in the country. His decision arouses objections among officials who claim that the IDF should also come under the definition of a terrorist organization due to the prolonged bombings in the Gaza Strip and killing of over 30,000 people.

Alongside the pro-Israeli decision, the state decided to impose sanctions against "extreme Israeli settlers" accused of violence against Palestinians. "We are imposing travel bans on a number of people who are known to have committed violent acts. These people will not be able to travel to New Zealand," said Foreign Minister Peters. The details have not been made public. Luxon stated that he is, "very concerned about the significant increase in extreme violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in recent months." "This especially undermines the situation, which is already in a major crisis," added the Prime Minister.

Israel-New Zealand relations have had ups and downs over the years. During 2004, Israel was caught in an acute diplomatic crisis following the passport forgery affair in which two Israeli citizens were arrested on suspicion of trying to obtain fake passports and serving as Mossad agents. Following the affair, Israel was forced to issue a public apology for the incident and since then, relations between the two countries have been kept on low profile.

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