‘Designate Hamas as terrorist outfit in India’, Israeli envoy says ‘it’s time' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Designate Hamas as terrorist outfit in India’, Israeli envoy says ‘it’s time'

Oct 26, 2023 06:51 AM IST

The Israeli ambassador said many countries including the US, Canada and the European Union have already designated Hamas as a terror outfit.

Israel on Wednesday asked India to designate Hamas as a terrorist entity like many other countries have done even as it hailed New Delhi's "solid support" to its operations against the outfit.

Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon(HT_PRINT)
Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon(HT_PRINT)

Israeli ambassador to New Delhi Naor Gilon said the need for proscribing Hamas as a terrorist organisation was taken up with India following the deadly attacks on Israeli cities on October 7.

Follow LIVE updates on Israel-Hamas war

At the same time, he said the matter was taken up earlier as well.

"The important countries for us are with us. These are the democracies of the world. Having said that...I think it is also time to officially designate Hamas in India as a terror organisation," Gilon said at a media briefing.

The Israeli ambassador said many countries including the US, Canada as well as the leading grouping, the European Union, have already designated Hamas as a terror outfit.

"We spoke to the relevant authorities here. It is not the first time we spoke about it. I think we both understand the threat of terrorism. It is not something we are putting pressure on. We think it is something due because of our shared war on terror," Gilon said about Israel's call for designating Hamas as a terror outfit in India.

"We raised the issue after the attack and we are still in dialogue. We are speaking to India. It is a friendly talk...we see eye-to-eye on the vast majority of things including on counter-terrorism and other strategic issues," he said.

Over 1,400 people were killed in the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Hamas on October 7. Hamas has held more than 220 people hostage in Gaza.

According to authorities in Gaza, around 6,500 people have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel.

Gilon also thanked India for its "100 per cent" support to Israel in its anti-terror operations against Hamas and especially referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's post on X expressing his shock over the terror attacks and expressing solidarity with people of Israel.

"Prime Minister Modi ji was among the first leaders in the world to come out with a very clear statement," he said.

The envoy said Modi's comments unequivocally condemning terrorism set a "very clear tone".

"It is important to us as India is a very close ally. But India is also a very important moral voice of the world. When it comes to terrorism, India is also coming from the point of view of someone who knows what it is talking about being itself a victim of terrorism," Gilon said.

On Israel's war with Hamas, he said it is about the country's survival in the "tough neighbourhood" in the Middle East.

"For Israel, it's a war of being able to survive in the Middle East. We live in a very tough neighbourhood. In the Middle East, if you are perceived to be weak, your life is going to be miserable," he said.

"If people think that they can attack Israel, we will be attacked all the time. So vulnerability is not much appreciated. We have to make sure that people who have bad ideas about us are not able to execute them," he said.

The envoy said any indication of Hamas winning in the war against Israel may trigger a ripple effect in the region and beyond and that is not an option at all.

"The success of Hamas is not an option for moderate regimes in the Middle East. They do not want such a scenario," he said.

The Israeli envoy also alleged that Iran has been supporting Hamas.

"For years, Iran has been financing, training and equipping Hamas," he claimed.

In the past, Iran has rejected the allegation.

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