A member of Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades, military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, takes part in a parade in Gaza City in a file photo. Image Credit: AFP

Sydney: Australia on Thursday said it would list all of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a terrorist organisation, the latest Western nation to do so.

Canberra had previously listed Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades as a terror group, but the new designation will list the organisation in its entirety.

Hamas currently controls the Gaza Strip, has vowed to “liberate” Jerusalem by force and has frequently carried out attacks on Israeli targets.

“The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies,” said home affairs minister Karen Andrews.

The designation will place restrictions on financing or providing other support to Hamas - with certain offences carrying a 25-year prison sentence.

“It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out these acts,” Andrews said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for the Hamas decision.

“I thank my friend, Australian P.M. Scott Morrison, for acting on this issue after the conversation we had on this important matter. It is another important step in the global fight against terror,’’ Bennett said in a statement.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also thanked Australian Ambassador to Israel Paul Griffiths for what he described as a “significant step’’ in Israel’s international effort to curtail terrorist organisations.

Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler said the Hamas listing made clear Australia’s “absolute rejection of hatred and terrorism.”

“There is absolutely no doubt that Hamas in its entirety meets the definition of terrorist organisation,’’ Leibler said in a statement, adding that the decision aligns Australia with the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada.

Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Hamas took power in the impoverished enclave.

The United States has long designated Hamas a terror group.

A similar EU decision had been the subject of a protracted court battle, that eventually resulted in Hamas being returned to the terror list.