The Jersualem Post headline ("fully responsible") is a bit exaggerated, but the statement is strong:
"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas," Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, told reporters.
"I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such," Michel said as he visited the town of Jabalya in northern Gaza.
"Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again - be it the European commission, the member states or the major donors - for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed," he said.
Reuters quoted the EU official as saying that the Islamic group had used civilians as "human shields" by placing operatives in residential areas, and said that the years of terrorist rocket-fire on southern Israel served as a "provocation."
The report also quoted Michel as saying that, "When you kill innocents, it is not resistance. It is terrorism."
A Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, was quoted by Reuters as saying his group was "shocked" at Michel's comments. He lambasted the official for "giving cover to massacres and terrorism committed by the Zionist enemy against the Palestinian people… Palestinian resistance is as legitimate as the resistance of European countries that fought against foreign occupiers."
I find it intriguing that Mr. al-Masri is "shocked". I understand that he, of course, doesn't subscribe to Mr. Michel's view. But it is quite telling that he is "shocked" by it, in that I imagine he would not be "shocked" at all if this statement was released by an American.