An EU court ruled on Wednesday that the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas should be removed from the European Union’s terrorist list, saying that the decision to include it was based on media reports not considered analysis. Reuters reports:
However, in its ruling, the bloc’s second highest tribunal said member states could maintain their freeze on Hamas’s assets for three months to give time for further review or for an appeal to be launched.
Israel, which has clashed repeatedly with Europe in recent years over Palestinian statehood ambitions, reacted with dismay. “We expect them to immediately put Hamas back on the list,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, denouncing Hamas as “a murderous terrorist organization”.
Looking to limit the fallout, the EU’s foreign policy arm said the bloc continued to view Hamas as a terrorist group. “This was a legal ruling of the court based on procedural grounds. We will look into this and decide on appropriate remedial action,” spokeswoman Maja Kocijanic said.
Hamas holds sway in the Gaza Strip and its founding charter calls for the destruction ofIsrael. It has regularly battled Israel, most recently in a 50-day war this summer. Most Western countries, including the United States, agree with Israel that it is a terror