Fallout continues over EU court's Hamas ruling

European Union has 'shot itself in the foot' by isolating Palestinian group, says analyst.

Fallout continues over EU court's Hamas ruling

World Bulletin/News Desk

Wednesday’s ruling by an EU court to remove Hamas from a list of terrorist organizations indicates that an isolation and no-contact policy against the Palestinian group has failed, a European Council analyst has claimed.

“Hamas is in power in Gaza; it is still very relevant as an actor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine program coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations, speaking on Thursday.

“The EU, by having a no-contact policy [with Hamas], has in some ways shot itself in the foot,” Lovatt added.

His comments come a day after the General Court of the European Union ruled that the decision to include Hamas on a 2001 terrorist list was not based on "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet."

However, the EU responded the same day that it still considered Hamas a terrorist organization and that the General Court’s decision was a legal ruling, not a political decision.

EU reactions to its court’s decision to remove Hamas from the terror blacklist came on the same day as the European Parliament voted for a non-binding resolution calling for recognition of Palestine as a state – based on peace talks to include Israel.

The sweep of European countries calling for votes on recognizing Palestine – starting with Sweden and followed by France, the U.K. and Spain – highlights a hardening stance against Israeli policies by some members of the 28-nation bloc.

“[This is] yet one more indication of European frustration with the current policies of the Israeli government and the denial of Palestinian rights,” Lovatt said.

Last week, the EU called for an investigation into the death of PLO's official in charge of settlements, Ziad Abu Ein who died shortly after he was reportedly hit and shoved by Israeli police officers during a protest near Ramallah in the West Bank.

Abu Ein was reportedly among dozens of protesters carrying olive trees during a protest against land confiscation when they were met with Israeli troops firing tear gas on Dec.10 – International Human Rights day. 

U.S. support

However, the U.S. has urged the European Union not to change its stance on Hamas.

"The friendship we see from the United States stands in complete contrast to what we are seeing regretfully in Europe," read a statement issued by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office on Wednesday.

Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama said during a speech in Jerusalem that Israel had the support of the “the world’s most powerful country.” However, Obama also warned that “the world could change” and urged Israelis to “look at the world through the eyes of Palestinians.”

''The European Parliament voting [for the recognition of Palestinian statehood] shows that [Obama's] prediction is true,'' Lovatt added.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 17:18
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