The United States has designated Ismail Haniya, the senior political leader of Hamas, as a "global terrorist".
In a meeting with the representative of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, held in Tehran on Tuesday, Hossein Amir Abdollahian described Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine as two pillars of resistance against the Zionist regime of Israel.More news: Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan questioned in Paris over rape claims
Hamas was designated in 1997 as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and in 2001 as an SDGT by the United States.
Another implication of Haniyeh's designation is that it shows that the USA will not support unity efforts between Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas.
"These designations target 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", Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonWhat Trump didn't say in his State of the Union address Airline executives praise U.S. agreement with Qatar over subsidies Top Dems demand answers from State Department after employees cite career concerns MORE said in a statement.More news: May pledges to 'step up' relationship with China
The other two groups-Liwa al-Thawra (Flag of the Revolution) and Harakat Sawa'd Misr (Arms of Egypt Movement, HASM)-are Egyptian, and some of the leadership in both groups was previously associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. On the designation of Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra, Mr Schanzer noted that "these two groups meet criteria for terrorism" following the attacks for which they claimed responsibility last summer.
Harakat al-Sabireen "is an Iranian backed terrorist group that was established in 2014" and "operates primarily in Gaza and the West Bank", the State Department said. Iran also provides backing for the group. "Today's actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities".
Haniyeh has become one of the most prominent figures in Palestine to criticize President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "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".More news: Apple Inc. (AAPL) Slashing iPhone X Production Amid Weak Demand
Christopher Sparks is a veteran journalist who has worked for metropolitan and community newspapers in New York City, Washington, D.C., upstate New York and Florida.
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