A pro-Hamas military group on Sunday threatened to begin targeting US citizens, a response to the US State Department's recent decision to include a top Hamas leader in its list of world terrorists.
A masked spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) issued the warning in an online video, calling on US citizens to "exert pressure on your government [to reverse the decision]; otherwise, we will be obliged to expand the circle of conflict outside Palestine."
The US State Department announced Friday that senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad had been designated as a terrorist. The decision was slammed by Hamad, who said on Saturday: "This decision ... is an additional black page in the book of the American administration."
In issuing the designation, the US State Department accused Hammad of using his former position as interior minister to coordinate terrorist cells and of establishing a media outlet designed to recruit children into becoming terrorists.
The PRC, which has been designated a terrorist group by the US and Israel, is a coalition of armed Palestinian groups that claimed responsibility for rocket attacks against Israel in 2013-14.
Iyad al-Bozzom, spokesman of the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior, said the group disavowed the threats.
"We are in favor of stability in Gaza and against any security deterioration or threat against foreign citizens," he wrote shortly after the video was released Sunday.
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since violently seizing control of the territory in 2007. The US State Department had issued a travel warning in August advising citizens against entering the Gaza Strip.
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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.