“I commend the British government’s decision to recognise Hamas as a terrorist organization, with all that entails. This is a supremely important step in the war on terror,” declared Israeli President Isaac Herzog as he departed for a 48-hour official visit to the United Kingdom on Sunday.
Biritish Home Secretary Priti Patel announced Friday that she is seeking to declare the entire Hamas organization as a terrorist group. While the military wing of Hamas, known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is currently declared a terror group by the United Kingdom, its political wing is not.
Patel said that parliament will add the designation next week, which Jewish groups have long called for.
During his visit, the President will hold official meetings, including with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Members of Parliament, and Jewish community leaders.
The President will also be a guest of honor at a special Genesis Prize Foundation event paying tribute to the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks one year after his passing, with the participation of Jewish community leaders and government officials past and present.
President Herzog described Britain as one of Israel’s most powerful and closest allies. “I shall meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a true friend of Israel, and we have known each other for many years. I shall thank him for the British government’s decision to recognise Hamas as a terrorist organization, with all that entails.’’
He added, “I shall meet Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Members of Parliament, and together with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, MPs, and other public officials, I shall make clear that Israel cannot allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability and it expects its allies to be tough and assertive toward the Iranians, including in their dialogue with them. Israel makes this position clear to all its friends and of course makes clear that it reserves all options to defend itself.”