The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas must come off the EU’s blacklist of terrorist organisations.
That’s NOT a political decision by the European Union, which wants to keep Hamas on the list.
Rather it’s a ruling from the General Court of the European Union, the EU’s second highest court – which stresses that the ruling is purely procedural and not based on an analysis of Hamas’ actions.
A freeze on funding remains in place for three months or until an appeal is heard.
Hamas is the dominant political force in the Gaza Strip and fought a 50-day war with Israel earlier this year.
Last month the EU’s visiting foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini offered help with reconstruction and called for an end to the cycle of violence.
Hamas has hailed the court ruling as a “victory” for Palestinian rights.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the EU to keep Hamas on its terror list, describing it as a “murderous organisation” committed to Israel’s destruction.
PM Netanyahu: We're not satisfied w/ the EU's explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist orgs is a 'technical matter'>— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 17, 2014
The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith >— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 17, 2014
It is understood by all that Hamas is a murderous terrorist org, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal. >— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 17, 2014