Palestinian Terrorist group Hamas will still be subject to asset freezes despite a court ruling that it should be removed from the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations, the Foreign Office insisted.
Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the ruling by the European general court, which ordered Hamas to be removed from the list on “procedural grounds” because the decision to target it was based on evidence from press reports.
The Foreign Office said the UK would work with other European Union nations to ensure that Hamas’ listing is maintained.
The court ruled that the the listing of Hamas, which dates back to 2001, was based on “factual imputations derived from the press and the internet” rather than acts “which have been concretely examined and confirmed in decisions of national competent authorities”.
Mr Netanyahu was outraged by the decision, and said many people in Europe had not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.
He said it “seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing”.
Israel would continue to defend itself “against the forces of terror and tyranny and hypocrisy”, he added.
The Foreign Office said the UK’s separate ban on Hamas’ military wing would not be affected by the European court’s judgment, which was “procedural” and did not signal a change of position in the EU.
A spokesman said: “Today’s EU General Court judgment is procedural and does not mean the EU and UK have changed their position on Hamas. The effects of the EU Hamas listing, including asset freezes, remain in place.
“We are studying the detail of the judgment carefully, and will work with partners to ensure that the Hamas listing at the EU is maintained.
“Hamas’ military wing has been proscribed in the UK since 2001 under separate UK legislation. It is not affected by today’s EU General Court judgment.”