Why Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wants Hamas to be designated as terrorist organization by UN

Nov 16, 2023, 1:07 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Arizona Kyrsten Sinema is urging the United Nations to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, a plea she says is necessary for multiple reasons.

Sinema was one of more than 30 senators who sent a letter last week to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield asking for the designation. The senators say Hamas’ goal of wanting to eradicate the Israeli people is enough but it goes beyond that.

A terrorist designation would cut off Hamas resources from international donors and other financial networks through sanctions.

“It’s actually the consequences that I care about most right now because Hamas is not designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations and it’s hard for us to impose sanctions,” Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday.

“The UN can’t impose sanctions on Hamas and Hamas is still able to access international donors and financial networks.”

Arizona’s senior senator is unsure what will come of the letter, saying she’s surprised the designation hasn’t yet been made.

“It’s so clear that Hamas is a terrorist organization … and it’s long past time that the United Nations designate Hamas as a terrorist organization so that we can impose sanctions on them and cut off their ability to seek financing globally,” Sinema said.

Sinema said Hamas continuing to “wreak havoc” in Palestine is an operation that must be stopped as the war rages on.

How long have Israel and Hamas been at war?

The war, now in its sixth week, was triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel in which the militants killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and captured some 240 men, women and children.

Israel responded to the attack with a weekslong air campaign and a ground invasion of northern Gaza, vowing to remove Hamas from power and crush its military capabilities.

“This requires all of us to stand up and point out the anti-Semitism that is occurring around the world,” Sinema said. “The danger that Israel is in because of these continuing terrorist attacks from Hamas and the push for allies and around the world is to help us to stand up and support Israel.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Why Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wants Hamas to be designated as terrorist organization by UN