Hamas has issued a statement thanking the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, for a message he sent supporting a pro-Palestinian rally last week. The internationally-proscribed terror group said it had received his message with “great respect and appreciation”. The group added that it “salutes” Mr Corbyn for his “principled” opposition to the U.S. Middle East plan ahead of its upcoming publication.
Mr Corbyn’s statement in support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally said that “We cannot stand by or stay silent at the continuing denial of rights and justice to the Palestinian people”. He said: “The Labour Party is united in condemning the ongoing human rights abuses by Israeli forces, including the shooting of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza – most of them refugees or families of refugees – demanding their rights”.
A BBC documentary this week examining the events on the border confirmed Israel’s assessment that many protesters were armed and violent, disproving Mr Corbyn’s narrative.
Mr Corbyn’s affiliation with extremists is well-documented, particularly his association with Hamas and Hezbollah. He was the subject of widespread condemnation last year when photographs emerged of him taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony in 2014 commemorating one of the masterminds of the Munich Olympics terror attack against Israeli athletes.
Hamas is the Sunni Islamist organisation in control of the Gaza Strip. The UK designates Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades, as a terrorist organisation, while the US, EU, Australia, Canada, Jordan, and Israel proscribe the entirety of the organisation.
The group’s founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and it has repeatedly opposed peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It has carried out numerous suicide bombings and terror attacks against Israelis, including frequent rocket attacks on Israel’s southern communities.