EU Top Court: Hamas To Stay On List Of Terror Groups
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled to keep Hamas on the bloc’s blacklist of terrorist groups, disqualifying a 2014 ruling by a lower court that said the Palestinian faction—which rules Gaza—should be removed from the list on procedural grounds. EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen welcomed the decision, which he said will maintain all restrictive measures against the organization—an asset freeze and a ban against soliciting or mobilizing funds in the EU—in force. In an apparent move to rebrand itself, Hamas’ charter was recently amended to incorporate the acceptance of the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders; although it reinforced that there is “no alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea [i.e. the eradication of Israel].” Hamas and Israel have fought three large scale battles over the past decade, culminating in the seven-week war during the summer of 2014, which killed some two thousand Palestinians and dozens of Israelis. While Israel and Egypt maintain an embargo on Gaza, with a view to preventing weapons from entering the Strip, Israeli military officials nevertheless say that Hamas has been able to rearm itself to pre-2014 levels.