December 17, 2014 The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which fought Israeli forces for nearly two months this year, won a court ruling that could lead to it being removed from a European Union list of terrorist organizations.
The EU General Court in Luxembourg, in what was described as a procedural ruling, said that the bloc’s decision to place Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, on the list of terrorist groups wasn’t sufficiently thorough and was based ‘on factual imputations derived from the press and Internet.’
Israel reacted with anger to the decision, seeing it as the latest in a series of European diplomatic moves the country views as favorable to the Palestinian cause. The ruling came on the same day that the EU Parliament voted to back ‘in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood,’ though failing short of a setting a deadline demanded by some lawmakers.
‘We are not satisfied by the explanation offered by the Europeans that the removal of Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations is due to a procedural issue,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an e-mailed statement. ‘The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect them to immediately return Hamas to the list that everyone knows it belongs on,’ he said.
Read the rest here.
The report goes on to note that the EU “downplayed the court’s ruling, saying it was purely procedural and didn’t affect the bloc’s policy.”
The EU court ruling can be found here.
For a profile of Hamas, go here.