EU takes Hamas off terrorist tab, Israel pouts

BELGIUM: The Hamas movement has been taken off the ‘terrorist’ list by the EU, and of course, Israel doesn’t like it.

The European Union (EU) General Court Wednesday cancelled measures that kept the Palestinian group Hamas on the EU list of terrorist organisations, a move hailed by the Hamas movement and slammed by Israel. The EU terrorist organisation list was established in 2001 and Hamas was added following the Sep 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US.

The court, based in Luxembourg, said that the effects of the measures would be maintained temporarily to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of the group’s funds, Efe news agency reported.

According to the ruling, the court found that such measures were not based on “concrete examinations” of Hamas’s acts but rather on “imputations derived from the media and the internet”.

Any assets held by entities or individuals linked to groups on the list within the 28 members of the union are frozen.Hamas had appealed against the measures that kept its name on the list.

The freezing of funds must be based on thorough examinations and confirmed decisions of the competent national authorities, according to the court.

The measures are to last for three months, unless an appeal is brought before the EU Court of Justice, the highest judicial body within the union.

The court also stated that its verdict was based on procedural grounds and does not imply “any substantive assessment of the questions of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group”.

According to a Xinhua report from Gaza, following the EU court’s move a senior Hamas movement official said that it was “a victory to the Palestinian people”.

“Removing Hamas from this list is a victory to our people and to everyone who supports our people’s right in the resistance,” Musa Abu Marzooq, a senior Hamas leader, said in a statement.

“It is a victory to freedom supporters and those who support the elimination of the occupation,” he added.

However, according to another report from Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister slammed the EU General Court for ordering the removal of the Hamas group from the union’s terror blacklist.

“It is understood by all that Hamas, a murderous terrorist organisation, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal, is an inseparable part of this (terror) list,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, according to a statement from his office.

“We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves its goal,” Netanyahu added.

“We are not satisfied with the EU’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter’,” Netanyahu said in the statement. “The burden of proof is on the EU and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith.”

Founded in 1987, the Islamic group is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, Canada, the US, Britain, Egypt, Australia and Japan, and it is banned in Jordan. It carried out militant attacks in Israel in the 1990s and 2000s in its alleged battle to “liberate Palestine”. It took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has launched rockets toward southern Israel.

According to the Israeli cabinet, peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed in April due to the decision of the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah party to reconcile with Hamas and form a national unity government.

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Posted by on December 18, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,WORLD NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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