hamas, MIDEAST GAZA ISRAEL WAR,  Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, Palestine.jpg
Palestinian fighters of Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, march during a military parade marking the second anniversary of the 50-day war between Israel and Gaza in the summer of 2014, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, 21 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

The Islamic Hamas movement condemned on Saturday the decision of the US State Department to include one of its top leaders in the Gaza Strip, Fathi Hammad, in its list of world terrorists.

"As Israel escalates its assaults on our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the American Administration, which backs the Israeli occupation, puts me on the so-called world’s terrorists’ list," Hammad said in an e-mailed press statement.

"The American Administration is the biggest supporter to the Zionist terrorism," said Hammad, referring to Israel.

"This decision biased to the occupation is an additional black page in the book of the American Administration with bad reputation."

He insisted that such decisions "would never terrify us and never break our determination to serve our people and defend their just rights whatever the price is," adding "dying for the sake of Allah [God] is our climax goal."

Hammad is considered one of the most prominent leaders of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has been ruling the Gaza Strip since violently seizing control of the territory in 2007.

The American decision "is a crucial and dangerous development that shows the American Administration biased towards the Israeli occupation," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a press statement.

According to a CNN report, the US State Department considered Hammad one of the top world terrorists who threatens the security of the American citizens and the national Security of the US, as well as the country's economic and foreign affairs.

Hammad was the interior minister of the Hamas government that ruled the Gaza Strip before the formation of the Palestinian consensus government in June 2014.

He is also the founder of Hamas satellite channel Al-Aqsa Television, which educates and recruits teenagers to become militants and suicide bombers when they grow up, according to the CNN report.

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