Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Call for a ban on Hamas

Delivered in Plenary - September 1st 2003

Mr President

You have already mentioned the tragic global spate of terrorist bomb attacks against innocent civilians in Jerusalem and Baghdad on 19 August 2003, and the gruesome attack in Bombay on 25 August 2003. Now we have Najaf.

I wish to address the serious issue that the Jerusalem bomb which killed 20 bus passengers, including young infants, was carried out by the Islamist group Hamas, in spite of there being a cease-fire agreement with Israel at the time.

How is it possible that the EU continues to allow the political wing of Hamas to operate and gather funds for its activities and so-called charities in the EU? Already America has placed it on the list of banned terrorist organisations and even the Palestinian Authority has cracked down by freezing its financial assets and closing down its newspapers. Surely it is time for the Commission and the Council of Ministers to do likewise in our common cause of fighting international terrorism.