EU Court Takes Hamas Off Terrorist List

EU Court Takes  Hamas Off  Terrorist ListEU Court Takes  Hamas Off  Terrorist List

The Palestinian group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist a European court ruled on Wednesday.

The original listing in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgments but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet, the General Court of the

European Union said in a statement.

However, the freeze on Hamas’s funds will temporarily remain in place for three months pending any appeal by the EU, the Luxembourg-based court said.

“The General Court finds that the contested measures are based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet,” the court said.

Hamas hailed the European court decision, describing the move as a “victory”.

“This is a victory for the Palestinian cause and for the rights of our people,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP.

“We thank the European court for this positive decision which must be followed by international steps to lift the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

  European Parliament Resolution

Meanwhile, the European Parliament adopted a resolution supporting Palestinian statehood in principle on Wednesday in a compromise motion that did not follow some European national legislatures in backing immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

Following a deal among the main parties, the motion that was carried stated: “(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

Social Democrat, left-wing and Green members of the European Parliament had initially put forward motions for a symbolic vote on Wednesday to call on the EU’s 28 members to recognize Palestine statehood now without conditions.

This follows Sweden’s decision in October to recognize Palestine and non-binding votes since then by parliaments in Britain, France and Ireland in favor of their recognition that demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.

Some European countries have grown increasingly vocal in expressing frustration with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest US-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with building settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their future state.