By Andrew Brown & Paul Osborne
The Morrison government will list the entirety of Hamas as a banned terrorist organisation.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the government had “zero tolerance for violence” as she announced the banning of eight groups.
“The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies,” Ms Andrews told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Ms Andrews said she had written to her state and territory counterparts to consult with them on the listing of the entirety of Hamas, and will finalise the listing as soon as possible.
“Should Hamas be listed, it will replace the current listing of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the Brigades),” she said.
The minister said work would be carried out by Attorney-General Michaelia Cash to ensure the rights of people who don’t support the terrorist organisations are protected.
It comes after concerns ordinary Palestinians would possibly be caught out under the changes.
“There are protections that are in place when organisations are listed,” she said.
“Michaelia Cash is going to be doing some more work in relation specifically to Hamas.”
Chair of the parliamentary committee on intelligence and security James Paterson welcomed the changes.
“Any Australian supporting Hamas could be committing a serious crime, a powerful deterrent to make Australia safer,” he said.
“The Morrison government cannot and will not turn a blind eye to the campaign of violent terror against innocent civilians, which is so evidently organised, financed and authorised by Hamas’ leadership.”
The committee recommended in a report in October last year expanding the listing of Hamas to the whole organisation.
Hamas’ paramilitary wing, The Brigades, was first listed as a terror organisation in 2003 and has been re-listed ever since.
The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network said the designation would do nothing to advance the cause of peace, but rather cause more suffering for two million people.
“This designation will not act as a deterrence against terrorism, but would damage Australia’s capacity to play a constructive role towards Middle East peace,” the group said.
The Zionist Federation of Australia said the decision made clear Australia’s “absolute rejection of hatred and terrorism”.
Other groups to be listed as terrorist organisations under the criminal code include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Hurras al-Din and the National Socialist Order.
The government has also re-listed Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb and Jemaah Islamiah.
National Socialist Order, formerly known as Atomwaffen Division, is a nationalist and racist violent extremist group based in the United States.
The listing of National Socialist Order will come into effect immediately.
The government currently lists 28 terrorist organisations under the criminal code.
Terrorist organisation offences include penalties of up to 25 years in jail.