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Netanyahu demands EU immediately restore Hamas to terror list

AFP , Wednesday 17 Dec 2014
Netanyahu
File Photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Dec. 3, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday demanded the EU immediately restore Hamas to its terrorism blacklist, after a European court ordered the Palestinian Islamist group's removal.

"We are not satisfied with the European Union's explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organisations is a 'technical matter'," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"We expect it (the EU) to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas -- a murderous terrorist organisation, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal -- is an inseparable part of this list," he said.

The General Court of the European Union ruled Wednesday that the original listing of Hamas in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet.

But it stressed that the decision to remove Hamas was based on technical grounds and does "not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group".

Hamas, which has been dominated Gaza since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.

It hailed the court's decision as a "victory."

Israel launched a 50-day, bloody assault on the Gaza Strip in July and August, killing nearly 2,200 Palestinians. On the Israeli side, 73 people- mostly soldiers- died during the offensive. 

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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