A top European Union Court has ruled that the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, should be removed from the bloc’s terrorist list.
The court said the ruling was a technical move and does not imply that Hamas’ classification as a terrorist group should be changed only that evidence for putting it on the list should be more official.
It said the decision to add the Islamic militant group was based on media reports and not acts confirmed by authorities.
The court, however gave the EU two months to appeal the judgment. Officials of the EU are still barred from having any dealing with Hamas, which is in control of a large part of Gaza.
The EU’s foreign policy arm said the bloc continued to view Hamas as a terrorist group.
“This was a legal ruling of the court based on procedural grounds.We will look into this and decide on appropriate remedial action,’’ Maja Kocijanic EU spokeswoman said.
While reacting to the ruling, the U.S. urged the European Union not to change its stance.
“We believe that the EU should maintain its terrorism sanctions on Hamas,’’ U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said at a news briefing.
Israel, which has clashed repeatedly with Europe in recent years over Palestinian statehood ambitions, demanded Hamas remain blacklisted and said the ruling showed “staggering hypocrisy’’ towards a Jewish state founded after the Holocaust.
“It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing.
“But we in Israel, we have learned,’’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in reaction.