U.S. adds Hamas leader to list of global terrorists

The State Department explained in a written statement that the 55-year-old Haniyeh has "close links with Hamas' military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians".

It added that Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks.

"We condemn this decision and totally reject it", Hamas Politburo member Ezzat al-Rishq said. "Today's actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities".

The United States has designated Ismail Haniya, the senior political leader of Hamas, as a "global terrorist".

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The other two groups-Liwa al-Thawra (Flag of the Revolution) and Harakat Sawa'd Misr (Arms of Egypt Movement, HASM)-are Egyptian, and some of the leadership in both groups was previously associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

"It is obvious that this animosity from the United States administration towards the Palestinians is unprecedented - with its unconditional support of Israel and its decision surrounding Jerusalem, and cutting its funding to the UN refugee agency [UNRWA]", said Hamad.

"This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation", it said in a statement.

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

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"As for the Palestinian terrorist groups, it gives them potentially up to $100 million annually".

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivers a speech in Gaza City, on January 23, 2018.

Originally founded to assist Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, UNRWA continues to operate 70 years later, providing humanitarian assistance and social services to residents of almost 60 refugee camps in the areas neighboring Israel.

The move came amid rising tensions between the USA and the Palestinians, which boiled over in December after President TrumpDonald John TrumpStormy Daniels on statement denying Trump affair: "I do not know where it came from" Five Takeaways from Trump's State of the Union Van Jones: Trump "selling sweet-tasting candy with poison in it" MORE recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Haniyeh responded to that announcement with a call for a "comprehensive, popular intifadah" to confront Israel and the US.