U.S. names Hamas leader as terrorist

U.S. names Hamas leader as terrorist

U.S. State Department said Haniyeh "has reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the sanctions aim to curb the activities of "key terrorist groups and leaders - including two sponsored and directed by Iran - who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel".

The State Department's terrorism designations also targeted three other small organizations, including Harakat al-Sabireen Nasran li Palestine (the Movement of the Patient Ones Supporting Palestine) or HESN, which is Gaza-based.

Israel's Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz tweeted in response: "I wish to congratulate the U.S. on the righteous decision to designate Ismail Haniyeh as a global terrorist".

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday added Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh into its terrorist list. "We affirm that it will not prevent our people and its leaders from continuing their legitimate struggle and exercising their natural right to defend their occupied land".

Hamas, which has fought three wars against Israel since 2008, receives support from Iran.

For his part, Khaled Qadoumi expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting Palestine and for its stances against the U.S. administration's move to recognize the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel.

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"As for the Palestinian terrorist groups, it gives them potentially up to $100 million annually". Unlike Meshaal, Haniya will remain in the Gaza Strip.

Haniya, 54, was elected to be the group's political chief in May 2017, replacing Khaled Meshaal.

They include President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem.

He said the announcement "crossed every red line" and called on Palestinians to resist it: "This Zionist policy supported by the United States can not be confronted unless we ignite a new intifada".

Originally founded to assist Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, UNRWA continues to operate 70 years later, providing humanitarian assistance and social services to residents of almost 60 refugee camps in the areas neighboring Israel.

Days of sometimes violent demonstrations in the Palestinian territories and other parts of the Middle East ensued.

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