Hamas deplore UAE encouraging terrorist designation

Hamas deplores UAE's calls for West to designate it as terrorist organisation at AIPAC meeting
2 min read
14 June, 2021
The UAE foreign minister called for western countries to designate Hamas as a terrorist group.
Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, despite repeated Israeli offensives [Getty]

Hamas has deplored the UAE after it called on the West to designate it as a terrorist organisation.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed called on more western countries to designate Hamas as a terrorist organisation during a speech at an AIPAC event last week.

Hamas on Sunday hit back at the remarks, saying Abu Dhabi is going against "Arab values".

"Bin Zayed's call for the western countries to designate Hamas as a terrorist group runs counter to Arab values," Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim said on Twitter.

He accused the UAE of toeing the line of "the failed Zionist propaganda and contradict the Arab public support to the resistance in Palestine".

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Bin Zayed said the Palestinian Islamist movement, which controls Gaza, not being designated as a terrorist organisation by much of the West was "unfortunate".

"It is unfortunate that some countries do not act more clearly in classifying some organizations, such as Hamas, Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.

"It is ridiculous that some governments only call the military branch of an organisation terrorist and go beyond its political branch, while there is no difference between them."

Many Western countries have designated the military wing of Hamas as a "terrorist organisation" but not its political section. Hamas won legislative Palestinian elections in 2006.

The UAE normalised relations with Israel in September 2020, signing a treaty known as the Abraham Accords.

Since then the two countries have signed a dizzying array of cooperation agreements in fields ranging from banking to filmmaking.

While the UAE and other Arab states have rushed to embrace Israel, opinion among Arab populations remains strongly against normalisation.

A poll published Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in early October showed that an overwhelming majority of 88 percent of Arabs reject normalisation with Israel.

Israel, which for decades has claimed to be "the only democracy in the Middle East", has supplied spyware technology to the UAE.

Ambiguous anti-terror and cybercrime laws have been used to target critics of the regime and dissidents. Websites critical of the regime's human rights record have been blocked in the country.

The UAE has led a military and political campaign against Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups in the Middle East, and led a crackdown on pro-democracy movements.