Federal Council opens consultation on draft legislation to ban Hamas

Bern, 21.02.2024 - Switzerland is to ban Hamas. The Federal Council decided at its meeting on 21 February to open the consultation on the necessary legal basis. The ban will also include Hamas cover and successor organisations as well as organisations that act on its behalf or in its name.

On 7 October, Hamas gunmen launched an attack on Israel, killing almost 1,200 people from Israel and other countries, including two Swiss nationals. The attack deliberately targeted the civilian population. In addition to those killed, almost 250 men, women and children were abducted: around 130 hostages are still being held by the organisation.

In response to this unprecedentedly brutal attack, the Federal Council decided on 11 October 2023 to designate Hamas a terrorist organisation. In December 2023, the National Council and the Council of States each adopted an identical motion calling for a ban on the organisation.

Under the new ‘Federal Act on the Proscription of Hamas and Associated Organisations', Hamas and cover or successor organisations as well as organisations or groups that act on its behalf or in its name are to be banned. The Federal Council may also designate organisations and groups as terrorist organisations if they have a particular affinity with Hamas or share its objectives, leadership or resources.

Ban to create legal certainty and have preventative effect

The ban aims at having both a preventative and repressive impact on Hamas, in particular by:

  • reducing the risk of Hamas and associated organisations using Switzerland as a safe haven or carrying out terrorist activities on Swiss territory;
  • enabling law enforcement services to impose preventative police measures such as entry bans or expulsion orders more easily and effectively;
  • creating clarity and greater legal certainty for law enforcement services when presenting criminal evidence and enabling them to take more targeted action against Hamas supporters;
  • providing legal certainty for financial intermediaries in combating terrorist financing and allowing the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) to exchange information more easily with foreign partner authorities on financial flows with suspected links to terrorist financing;
  • designating Hamas and associated organisations as terrorist organisations in accordance with Article 260ter of the Swiss Criminal Code (SCC), thereby making acts of support punishable by a custodial sentence not exceeding 10 years or 20 years if the person has considerable influence in the organisation.

Ban limited to five years - extension by Parliament possible

The Hamas ban has far-reaching consequences for the organisations, groups and individuals concerned. For this reason, the law is limited to five years. Parliament has the option of extending it by means of the ordinary legislative procedure.

The consultation procedure lasts until 28 May 2024.

Address for enquiries

Federal Office of Police fedpol, T +41 58 463 13 10


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Justice and Police

Federal Office of Police

General Secretariat DDPS

Federal intelligence service

Last modification 06.02.2024

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