Hamas’s Attack on Israel: This Must be a Moment of International Action

October 13, 2023

Hamas’s ongoing heinous attack against Israel—massacring innocent Israelis and foreigners as well as taking Israeli, American, and European citizens hostages and using them as human shields as well as threatening their execution—must be a moment of clarity. Hamas is a U.S.- and EU-designated terror organization. These terrorist designations must be followed by sustained operational action and should not be taken mainly as a political condemnation. Hamas is not operating from within Gaza alone. It has a wide international network of supporters that ensure that the group is supplied with money, arms, and technology. It is on the international community, including the European Union, to ensure that this support is effectively severed.

Therefore, CEP Germany calls for the following immediate actions by the European Union and Germany:

Stop Iran from Supporting Hamas

Largely shunned by the international community and a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has developed into the main foreign backer of Hamas. This has never been a secret cooperation. For example, in 2014, Abu Ubeida, the spokesman of Hamas’s military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, publicly thanked Iran for the support it afforded to the group. In 2020, Iran officially offered Hamas unconditional support. To leave no doubt, Hamas spokesperson Ghazi Hamad confirmed once again to the BBC on Saturday that Iran provided support. In addition to arms and ammunition, Iran also supported the missile program of Hamas. According to initial media reports, Iranian forces were involved in the planning of the current terror attack, which in its scale and military tactics is unusual for Hamas and clearly demonstrates foreign support in developing its terror tactics.

CEP Germany welcomes the announcement of the E3’s (Germany, France, and the United Kingdom) intent to maintain arms and missile embargoes on Iran, although they were scheduled to be dropped according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) next week. However, this is clearly not sufficient. Iran’s ability to support Hamas needs to be effectively and sustainably disrupted. Therefore, not only targeting the supply chains through more targeted sanctions against key Iranian institutions and decision makers but also the inclusion of key Iranian individuals and networks that organized Iranian support for Hamas in the EU terrorism list are necessary first steps. Terrorists such as Hamas cannot operate without help and disrupting the activities of key supporters needs to be a priority.

Stop Financial Support to Hamas from Within the European Union

CEP Germany welcomes the urgent review of the European Union’s assistance for Palestine as well as the German governments review to ensure that no funds are flowing to Hamas. However, financial support to Hamas is also flowing from Europe via unofficial channels. Here too, more work must be done. For example, in the past decades the German government repeatedly banned several Hamas related organizations, including most recently the network belonging to Ansaar International e.V. in 2021. While such official bans are important disruptive tools, their effect is only temporary. Banned support structures will be replaced by others. These replacements need to be urgently identified and shut down. This is also a moment to adjust the instruments that German security authorities have at their disposal to identify such structures. Currently, the domestic intelligence services are not allowed to collect financial data from organizations that are deemed to be a threat to the German democratic political system but do not openly propagate for violence. This is a significant legal loophole that is regularly exploited by networks that finance terrorism outside Germany. This loophole should be closed with urgency. Refraining from openly calling for violence to guard one’s financial activities from investigations by security authorities is not a hurdle for determined financers of terrorism.

Stop Social Media Platforms from Spreading Hamas Propaganda

With the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), the EU Terrorism Content Online Directive (TCO), and the EU Digital Services Act (DSA), Germany and the EU have created instruments aiming at disrupting the misuse of social media platforms by terrorist and extremists. CEP and CEP Germany have been supportive of these efforts, despite existing loopholes in these regulatory frameworks. The existing “notice and action” mechanisms should be used to ensure that Hamas is no longer able to spread its propaganda and images of its inhuman and abhorrent violence via social media platforms. However, as pointed out by CEP Germany, this mechanisms is not sufficient to ensure effective removal and reuploads of such content. Social media corporations should be proactively removing such content. It is not acceptable that global platforms such as Telegram, X (formerly Twitter), or TikTok continue to allow their platforms to be misused as part of Hamas’s terror campaign. Both the violence as well as the public documentation of it are an integral part of any terrorism operation. This should have been understood by global social media corporations years ago, and they should act accordingly and with urgency.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

View Archive