Swiss Government Set To Ban Hamas

The Swiss government said on Wednesday that it would introduce a draft law by the end of February specifically prohibiting Hamas operations and support within Switzerland.

“The Federal Council decided to draft a federal act banning Hamas, considering this to be the most appropriate response to the situation that has prevailed in the Middle East since October 7,” the government said in a statement.

“The act will provide the federal authorities with the necessary tools to counter any Hamas activities or support for the organisation in Switzerland.”

According to the Israeli authorities, on October 7, Hamas terrorists launched the bloodiest attack in Israeli history, killing around 1,200 persons, the majority of whom were civilians.

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have also kidnapped an estimated 240 Israelis and foreigners.

Israel declared war on Hamas, threatening to return the hostages and destroy the militant organization.

It launched a massive bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, killing 14,100 people, many of whom were youngsters, according to the Hamas authority.

Given the major parties’ positions, the seven-member Swiss administration is made up of ministers from the four largest parties, and members in parliament are likely to support the draft law enthusiastically.

The hard-right Swiss People’s Party, the country’s largest, has been lobbying hard for a ban.

The Swiss government appealed for the respect of international humanitarian law, notably the protection of people, on Wednesday.

It “reiterated its condemnation of the Hamas terrorist attacks in the strongest possible terms” and expressed “deep sorrow” for the thousands of civilians killed subsequently.

Switzerland “recognises Israel’s right to ensure its own defence and security”, it added.

“In view of the dramatic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the Federal Council stresses the need to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access. Humanitarian pauses are necessary for this purpose.”

Bern reiterated the need to restore the prospect of a political framework in the region, based on a two-state solution.

“This approach is the only viable path towards ensuring that both the Palestinian and Israeli populations can coexist peacefully, securely and with dignity,” it said.

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