Israel convinced EU will keep Hamas on its terror list

Israel convinced that the European Union will keep Hamas on Europe's terror list despite legal opinion to remove it.

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Ben Ariel,

Hamas rally in Gaza
Hamas rally in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Israel is convinced that the European Union will do everything necessary to keep Hamas on Europe's terror list, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emanuel Nachshon said on Thursday, according to Haaretz.

Nachshon was responding to a European Union legal opinion that the terrorist group which controls Gaza should be removed from the EU list of terrorist organizations. The opinion was delivered earlier on Thursday by Eleanor Sharpston, one of ten legal advisers to the European Court of Justice.

Sharpston's opinion upheld a previous ruling that the decision to include Hamas on the terror list had been based on media reports rather than on considered analysis.

"We are waiting for publication of the full opinion and will study it closely," Nachshon said late on Thursday, according to Haaretz, adding, "It is only an opinion, which does not commit the court and is part of the European legal process. We will wait for the court's ruling on the issue."

"We are convinced that the European Union will do everything necessary to keep Hamas, an active terror organization, on Europe's terror list," he added.

The European Union first included Hamas on its terrorist list in late 2001. The group, which has had de facto control of Gaza since 2007, since it violently ousted the PA and its Fatah supporters, appealed the ruling.

The EU's General Court ruled in December 2014 that Hamas should be taken off the list, saying that the listing had been based on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet" rather than acts examined and confirmed by authorities.

EU governments later appealed that ruling to the European Court of Justice. On Thursday, the court received advice on the case from Sharpston. The high court generally follows these opinions. The final ruling is likely to take several more months.

In 2013, the EU also blacklisted Hezbollah, but chose to only blacklist the group's so-called “military wing” and not the organization's political arm. That artificial differentiation, in addition to the EU court claiming that knowledge about the organization's terrorist nature is based on "imputations from the press," may also be the way for the EU to allow Hamas, which threw Fatah members off rooftops in its Gaza takeover, trains children to be terrorists in summer camps, launched thousands of rockets against Israel and whose charter publicly proclaims its goal of destroying the Jewish State - to be taken off the terror list.