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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)
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    The EU General Court's ruling to exclude Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations has sparked a powerful protest in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Hamas a "murderous terrorist organization" and promised to continue to fight it.

    TEL AVIV, December 17 (Sputnik) — Israel demands that the European Union immediately restore Hamas to its list of terrorist organizations after a European General Court (EGC) decision to remove the Palestine organization from the list, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday.

    "We are not satisfied with the European Union's explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a 'technical matter.' The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith," Netanyahu said.

    The Israeli prime minister characterized the Palestinian Islamic group as a "murderous terrorist organization" intent on the destruction of Israel and vowed to "continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal."

    The European Union has maintained Hamas on its list of terrorist groups since December 2001. The organization brought a court order against the European Council in 2010 seeking the annulment of the decision.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the EGC removed Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations, ruling that it made the list due to "factual imputations" taken from media and internet reports, as opposed to "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities." However, the Luxembourg-based court upheld temporary measures freezing Hamas' assets for the next three months and left the possibility of an appeal to the European Court of Justice within two months of today's ruling.

    The Hamas movement has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 and its reputation varies depending upon who is consulted. The European Union, Israel, Canada, the United States and Japan consider Hamas a terrorist organization, while Australia and Great Britain only condemn its military wing. Hamas is banned in Jordan.

    Hamas leaders have made offical visits to Russia to discuss the status of the Gaza strip on numerous occasions.

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)


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