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Saturday, 3 November, 2001, 23:15 GMT
Israel praises new US terror list
Palestinian militants
Hamas is among the groups on the US list
Israel has welcomed the addition of militant Palestinian groups to an American list of "terrorist" organisations.

On Friday the United States added 22 groups including Hamas and Hezbollah to its list of "terrorist" groups whose financial assets will be frozen.

Palestinian groups were not included on a blacklist issued by Washington on 24 September in connection with its war on terrorism.

This puts pressure on countries harbouring and providing support and sanctuary to these organisations

Israeli prime minister's spokesman
Britain has also ordered financial institutions to freeze the assets of 25 groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, as part of the anti-terror campaign.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the American and British action was a step in the right direction.

"We would like to see these organisations totally banned, and in a way that no country would give them any kind of support," said Ranaan Gissin.

Hamas response

Hamas accused Washington of giving Israel a green light to continue tough military operations against Palestinians.

Israel's policy of targeted killings has been particularly controversial.

But a top Hamas official downplayed the practical implications of the American decision, saying it would not affect the group's "secret" sources of funding.

Hamas has carried out numerous suicide bombings in Israel.

Question of definition

Another militant group which was added to both the US and British lists, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said it was not a terrorist group, but a national liberation movement.

Our struggle against Israeli occupation is in full harmony with the principles of international law

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

A PFLP spokesman in Gaza, Kayed al-Gul, said the group had no money in American or British banks.

"We depend a lot on contributions from the Palestinian public. I don't think America can stop these contributions," he said.

Last month, the PFLP said it had assassinated the Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi, in retaliation for the killing of one of its leaders.

See also:

02 Nov 01 | Business
UK expands terror funds list
12 Oct 01 | Americas
US widens freeze on suspects' funds
03 Oct 01 | Business
US launches terror trading probe
19 Sep 01 | Business
Following the money trail
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