Palestinians reject Australia’s decision to label Hamas as a terrorist organization & criticize its support for settlements

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High-ranking official bodies from the Palestine Liberation Organization announced their total rejection of Australia’s declaration describing Hamas as a terrorist organization, saying that this reflects double standards as it allows extremist Israeli settlers groups to work for the benefit of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said in a Facebook tweet that the PLO Executive Committee rejects the attempts of some countries to brand the Palestinian struggle and some forces and organizations with terrorism, in reference to Australia’s decision to label Hamas as a terrorist movement.

A press release issued by the Palestinian embassy in Australia said that the Australian government’s decision regarding Hamas is rejected and reflects the Australian government’s double standards.

The Australian government’s declared intention to list the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist organization reveals a double standard and does nothing to advance the peace process.

Unfortunately, this decision comes at a time when nothing is being done to condemn or counter the escalating violence of extremist settler groups, who have been committing acts of terror against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem since 1967 the Palestinian embassy press release added.

These violent extremists are murdering Palestinians, burning their homes and trees to the ground, and expelling them from their land under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces. Australia has given the green light for extremist Zionist groups to operate freely on their soil along with some Australian citizens to raise funds for illegal settlements and recruit soldiers for Israel and has a clear pattern of anti-Palestinian voting, including voting against our right to self-determination. Australia cannot be considered an honest or impartial partner for peace and stability while displaying such double standards.

We regret that the Australian government still does not recognize the State of Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The State of Palestine has consistently pursued a peaceful strategy and adhered to agreements signed with Israel. Meanwhile, Israel violates all agreements by carrying out illegal settlement activities, demolishing homes, expelling Palestinians from their land, and stifling the Palestinian economy within the framework of a racist and oppressive system.

It is also important also to consider the harm caused to Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim Australians witnessing their government’s refusal to take an even-handed approach.

Australia’s friendship with Israel should not be at the expense of international law. By condoning Israel’s illegal and oppressive practices, the Australian government holds Israel to a different standard than the rest of the world and encourages Israel to continue its aggressive violations against the Palestinian people the Palestinian embassy press release said.

Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused, Australia’s decision according to a member of its Revolutionary Council and its official spokesman, Osama al-Qawasmi, to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Al-Qawasmi said that the Palestinian people, with all their components and factions, are struggling for freedom, justice, and national independence, and that the real terrorism is the killing and demolition of homes by the Israeli occupation state and the imposition of the apartheid regime against our Palestinian people.

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