Two Palestinian groups sworn to Israel’s destruction have been re-listed as terror organizations by the Australian government.
Attorney General Philip Ruddock said Tuesday that Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas had been proscribed for another two years. The Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba also was on the list.
Their re-listing means it is illegal to be a member of, associate with, train with, provide training for, receive funds from, make funds available to, direct or recruit for any of these organizations, Ruddock said.
“This applies to conduct in Australia and overseas, and carries penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment,” he added.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad “has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings and rocket attacks in 2006 and 2007,” Ruddock said. “In April 2007, a member of the PIJ leadership stated that the group continuously makes plans to carry out martyrdom attacks.”
He said Izz al-Din operated independently of the political wing of Hamas.
“Hamas’ Brigades operates as a network of independent cells directed by the brigades’ leadership and continues to conduct terrorist attacks in support of Hamas’ political objectives,” Ruddock said.
Izz al-Din Brigades was initially listed as a terrorist organization in November 2003; the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was first listed in May 2004.