Sunday, May 15, 2016


Yasser Ali, A spokesman for the designated Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, this week, in a public statement, remarked that Hamas has "never forgiven" the United Kingdom, for its role in the creation of the State of Israel. Last year, another Hamas spokesman, Essam Adwan, called upon the UK to pay reparations to it, for some alleged perceived injustice that Britain allegedly inflicted upon the Palestinians, seventy years ago.

Neither of these two individuals was paying attention in history class; It was the United Nations that proposed a partition of the British Mandate, which was not only rejected by the Arab world, but resulted in a failed attempt, by several armies of Arab countries, to destroy the new State of Israel. The legal basis for a national home for the Jewish people goes back to the rulings of the League of Nations, which were carried forth by the UN after its formation.

The United Kingdom may have been responsible for the Balfour Declaration, which proposed a National Jewish Home, but it was the world community that adopted its principles.

Nevertheless, on a risk management basis, UK entities should take these threats seriously, especially when Hamas, and its regime in Gaza, is involved. Given Hamas' SDGT status with OFAC, as well as its UK designation, dealing with any Middle Eastern financial institutions located with the Gaza Strip, or which have established a branch there,  represents a high degree of risk for UK banks and NBFIs. There is nothing to stop the Hamas leadership from seizing funds from banks located in Gaza, where these is a dictatorship that ignores the Rule of Law. Try getting your money out through access to a Palestinian court. It's worse than Panama, if that was possible.

Let us also hope that these statements are taken seriously by the Labour Party, whose love affair with the Palestinians appears to also disregard history, as well as counter-terrorism experts in the UK Government.

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