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EU court says Hamas should be removed from terror list

The Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, should be removed from the European Union’s terrorist list, an EU court ruled on Thursday.

The court added that the decision was to include it was based on media reports, not considered analysis.

In its ruling, however, the bloc’s second highest tribunal said member states could keep Hamas’s assets frozen for three months to give time for further review or for an appeal.

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,’’ the spokeswoman, Maja Kocijanic said.

The U.S. has urged the European Union not to change its stance.

“We believe that the EU should maintain its terrorism sanctions on Hamas,’’ U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, told a regular news briefing.

Israel, which has clashed repeatedly with Europe in recent years over Palestinian statehood ambitions, demanded Hamas remain blacklisted and said the ruling showed “staggering hypocrisy’’ toward a Jewish state founded after the Holocaust.

“It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing.

“But we in Israel, we have learned,’’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

He branded Hamas “a murderous terrorist organisation’.’

According to a report, Hamas holds sway in the Gaza Strip and its founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel; it has regularly battled Israel, most recently in a 50-day war this summer.

Most Western countries say it is a terrorist organisation, pointing to years of indiscriminate rocket strikes out of Gaza and waves of suicide attacks, primarily between 1993 and 2005.


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