Israel asks European Union to restore Hamas to its terror blacklist

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Jerusalem, Dec 17: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today asked the EU to restore Hamas to its terror blacklist immediately, soon after a European Union court ordered the Palestinian Islamist group's removal from the list.

Israel asks European Union to restore Hamas to its terror blacklist.
"The burden of proof is on the EU and we expect them to immediately return Hamas to the list where everyone realises they should be," Netanyahu said.

"Hamas is a murderous terrorist organisation whose charter says that its aim is to destroy Israel. We will continue to fight it with determination and strength so that it will never realise its aims", the Israeli Premier said.

European Union's second highest court today annulled the bloc's 2001 decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist organisations, but temporarily maintained the measures for a period of three months or until an appeal was closed.

The general court of the European Union said the contested measures were not based on an examination of Hamas's acts but on imputations derived from the media and the Internet.

The Luxembourg-based court said it was nevertheless maintaining the effects of the measures in order to ensure that any possible future freezing of funds would be effective.

According to the technical issue put forward by the court, Hamas was removed from the list because the evidence used to place the organisation on the list did not meet European standards.

Several Israeli ministers and lawmakers reacted to the EU move which comes at a time when Israel is battling against the move by several European nations to grant recognition to a Palestinian state.

Israel's Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett said, "If anyone think that sacrificing Israel can save Europe, they are mistaken. The corrupt law of the EU court gives license for the shedding of Jewish blood everywhere and demonstrates the loss of a moral path".

"Israel is strong and can defend itself from its enemies, but Europe itself will be the one to suffer from the strengthening of terrorist organisations," Bennet said, adding that terror which receives a justification in Tel Aviv will quickly spread to London, Paris and Brussels.

Israeli Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said that the European Union "must have lost its mind."

The decision displays "inflexibility, moral distortion and grants a prize to the extremist Islamic terror that is currently plaguing the entire world, including Europe itself," the speaker said.

Left of Centre Labour party's lawmaker Nachman Shai accused the EU court of hypocrisy, saying "the body responsible for justice should know that Hamas does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, even for one minute".

Meanwhile, a Hamas official praised the decision saying the court had corrected an injustice done to the organisation, which he called a "national freedom movement," rather than a terrorist organisation.

PTI 

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