A 34-year-old British man, Feras Al Jayoosi, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison on Friday for wearing t-shirts supporting the military wing of the Palestinian organization Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, the BBC reported. Al Jayoosi was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service and pay £288 (roughly $380) to the magistrate court.
Al Jayoosi, from Swindon in Wiltshire, was spotted on 8 and 9 June wearing t-shirts that support Palestinian groups in the Golders Green municipality (which has a large Jewish population) in London. Westminster Magistrates' Court was told Al Jayoosi had autism and Asperger's, which reduced his culpability.
"You had multiple warnings that the path you were taking - the organizations you sought out to align yourself with - would get you into trouble, but you carried on," Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said.
"This prosecution is not about (you) supporting the cause of the Palestinian people… you and very many others - rightly - feel very strongly about that. It's about supporting organizations that believe the way to solving the problem is in ways that are violent and that we should all abhor,” Goldspring continued.
Just last month, the United Kingdom designated the entirety of the Hamas organization as a terrorist organization. The military wing of Hamas – a popular political movement in what constitutes Palestinian lands – has been designated as a terrorist organization in the UK since 2001, though the government and humanitarian wings were spared the designation. The United States designated the totality of both Hamas and Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997.
Antisemitism rose 365% in the UK due to the Israel-Gaza war last May, according to reports from Community Security Trust (CST), an organization that tracks antisemitism in the UK.