European governments including Britain are increasing their back-channel contacts with Hamas, all but ignoring the official EU policy of maintaining political isolation over the terrorist organization that continues to see the destruction of the Jewish State as its primary goal.
According to the Guardian, four senior Hamas officials have stated that their ongoing communication with the EU is alive and well.
Over the past few months, the Guardian reported, meetings between Hamas and European government representatives and intermediaries have taken place in Gaza and in Cairo, as well as in European capitals, according to the same Hamas officials.
The EU banned contact between its member states and Hamas following its takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, and, officially, Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU.
The Hamas officials who spoke to the Guardian declined to give specific details of who met whom and where. “These countries trust us not to disclose information about contacts,” said Ahmed Yousef, a member of Hamas’s shura council, and a former deputy foreign minister.
“We try to keep the contacts low-profile because it causes trouble. We prefer not to talk about it but I can guarantee that most European countries are interested in opening doors to Hamas.”