US removes Jewish extremist Kahane movement from terrorist blacklist

The US will remove a Jewish extremist group linked to the late Rabbi Mir Kahane as well as a Palestinian terrorist group from the terrorist blacklist without violence, an official said on Sunday.

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The State Department designated Kahane Chai as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, three years after its supporter Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

The group was founded by Kahane, a US-born rabbi and former Israeli lawmaker who advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and was assassinated in New York in 1990.

The State Department informed Congress that it would withdraw the designation, which was challenged in court by the group, because Kahane Chai “has not been associated with a terrorist attack since 2005,” an official said. he said.

The official said the State Department was also removing the Mujahideen Shura Council in the environment of Jerusalem, a Palestinian group linked to rocket attacks a decade ago.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the cancellation of the designations “ensures that our terrorism sanctions remain current and credible and that there is no change in policy toward the past activities of any of these organizations.” “

Despite the lack of attacks by the Kahen Chai group, the late rabbi remains a hero to some at the extreme right of Israeli politics, including Member of Parliament Itamar Ben-Gwir, who has advocated annexation of the West Bank. And hangs a portrait of Goldstein in his house. ,

The designation as a foreign terrorist organization severely limits activities in the United States, including criminalizing financial aid.

The State Department said it is still placing the two groups on the less powerful Specially Designated Global Terrorist List, which helps support law enforcement activities.

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