RealNews

EU Split on Blacklisting Political Arm of Hamas

Britain and France clashed on Monday over whether the European Union should blacklist the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is resisting pressure to accept a cease-fire with Israel. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw pressed his EU colleagues at a meeting in Luxembourg to outlaw Hamas’ political wing, but French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin was adamant it remained a necessary player in the peace process. The military wing of Hamas, responsible for many suicide attacks on Israel since the 2000 launch of an uprising against occupation of Palestinian territories, is already on the EU’s list of banned “terrorist” groups whose assets may be seized. But the latest wave of violence, which threatens to derail an international peace road map by undermining new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas before he can assert his authority, has opened debate within the 15-nation bloc on a total ban. “There is increasing evidence now that Hamas’s political and military wings are very extensively intertwined and…Hamas has rejected the road map and indeed is literally trying to blow it up,” Straw said. Full Story

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