The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Council of States committee unanimously wants to ban Hamas

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 31 October 2023

The Security Policy Committee of the Council of States (SIK-S) is also calling on the Federal Council to ban the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas. It submitted a motion to that effect on Friday.

Council of States committee unanimously wants to ban Hamas
Swiss parliamentary groups signal support to ban Hamas as a terrorist group. (Keystone / Yahya Arhab)

The decision was made by 8 votes to 0, according to the parliamentary services. Previously, the National Council’s sister commission had already unanimously submitted a corresponding motion. It has the same text.

In view of the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel, which particularly targeted the civilian population, Switzerland must take a clear position, the commissions wrote. “It was pure terror against civilians – men, women, children and the elderly. Mercilessly and without restraint, everyone was shown what Hamas represents.”

“Fully discredited”

Last year, a Hamas ban had failed in the National Council. “A ban on Hamas would jeopardize Switzerland’s commitment to promoting and safeguarding human rights,” the National Council’s Security Policy Committee (SIK-N) said at the time, explaining its rejection of the corresponding proposal. Switzerland is heavily involved in Israel and Palestine at the diplomatic level.

After the recent attacks by Hamas on Israel, however, Hamas has “now completely discredited itself as an interlocutor for peace,” the SIK-S said on Friday.

Al-Qaeda and IS banned so far

The proposals leave open how the Federal Council should implement the Hamas ban. Currently, a working group of a federal task force is examining options for the ban. Another is examining Swiss contributions to Palestinian organizations. According to the commission, the proposals are likely to be dealt with in the 2023 winter session, which runs from the fourth to the 22nd of December.

Banned by law in Switzerland so far are the terrorist militia IS and Al Qaeda. The law provides that persons can be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years who directly or indirectly propagate, support or otherwise promote terrorist or violent extremist activities and thus threaten the internal or external security of Switzerland.

©Keystone/SDA

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