USA places Hamas chief Haniya on terror blacklist

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In a statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, "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".

The State Department's statement explicitly accused Haniyeh of involvement in terror attacks against Israelis. 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.

Gaza City: The US decision to put the head of Hamas on its terror blacklist on Wednesday will not deter the group's "resistance" to Israel, the movement said.

"Today's actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities", he added.

Islamic Hamas movement slammed on Wednesday the USA decision to list Hamas chief Ismail Haneya among the world's terrorists.

"The Department of State has designated Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra, and Harakat Sawa'd Misr (HASM) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists", read the statement.

"We reject and condemn the decision and we see it as a reflection of the domination by a gang of Zionists of the American decision", he said.

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"This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation".

During the Israel-Hamas war, he went to Turkey for treatment to his leg, which he lost, Fox News reported.

For his part, Khaled Qadoumi expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting Palestine and for its stances against the United States administration's move to recognize the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel. Unlike Meshaal, Haniya will remain in the Gaza Strip.

Haniya replaced Khaled Meshaal, who now lives in Doha in exile, atop the Hamas movement.

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.

Born in 1963 in the Gaza Strip, he was exiled by Israel to southern Lebanon in 1992, along with scores of Hamas leaders, for about a year.

Bloody protests erupted for days after the announcement in many Palestinian territories as well as some Middle Eastern countries.