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Swiss Govt plans ban on Hamas by legislation, underlining Israel's right to defence

Swiss Govt plans ban on Hamas by legislation, underlining Israels right to defence

The Swiss government has announced plans to introduce legislation by the end of February explicitly banning "Hamas activities or support" within the country. The Federal Council, the executive branch, stated that the decision to draft such a law is a response to the situation in the Middle East since October 7, following an attack by Palestinian fighters from the Gaza Strip on southern Israel.

The proposed act aims to equip federal authorities with the necessary tools to counter any involvement or support for the Palestinian group within Swiss borders. The move follows heightened tensions in the region, particularly since the October 7 Hamas attack, which led to a series of escalations and a significant loss of civilian lives.

The Swiss government, composed of ministers from the four largest parties, has emphasized the need for respect for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians. While expressing deep sorrow for the casualties in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the government strongly condemned the October 7 Hamas attack.

Notably, the statement made no direct mention of Israel's actions in Gaza but acknowledged Israel's right to ensure its own defence and security.

The government highlighted the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and called for unimpeded humanitarian access, asserting that humanitarian pauses are necessary for this purpose.

Furthermore, Switzerland reiterated the importance of restoring a political framework in the region based on a two-state solution to foster peaceful coexistence for both the Palestinian and Israeli populations.

The legislative proposal is expected to garner support in parliament, with the hard-right Swiss People's Party advocating strongly for the ban. In a related development, on October 11, the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs suspended funding to several Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations, citing compliance concerns.

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TAGS:HamasGaza StripIsrael Palestine ConflictSwiss government
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