Jerusalem, September 7, 2003

Statement by FM Shalom on the EU Announcement Regarding the Hamas
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom welcomed the announcement of the European Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs to add the Hamas to the list of terrorist organizations, and to implement the practical steps that such a decision entails.

In recent months, the Foreign Minister directed his efforts toward achieving the inclusion of the Hamas, in all its branches, into the list of terrorist organizations. Mr. Shalom raised the issue in all the meetings which he conducted with European heads of government and foreign ministers.

Following the decision, Minister Shalom stated: "The branding of the Hamas as a terrorist organization, its exclusion from the realm of legitimate interlocutors and the blocking of its sources of funding all constitute an important contribution to the war against terrorism, not only in our own region, but throughout the world. This decision represents a clear statement on the part of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union, that whoever chooses to resort to terrorism will have no place in the family of nations."