EU Court Decides to Keep Hamas on Terror List

Published July 26th, 2017 - 09:11 GMT
Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)
Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)

The Court of Justice of the European Union on Wednesday decided to keep Hamas on the EU blacklist of terrorist organizations.

The court thus surprisingly disqualified a 2014 ruling by a lower EU court that removed Hamas from the list on procedural grounds.

In 2010, Hamas had appealed its placement on the union’s list of terrorist organizations. Four years later, the EU’s General Court ruled in the group’s favor, arguing that insufficient evidence was presented to merit the blacklisting. Hamas had been placed on the list based “not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet,” the court ruled in December 2014.

The EU Council immediately appealed that decision. Wednesday’s ruling by the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice ruled in the Council’s favor.

The decision came to a surprise, since in September a General Eleanor Sharpston of the Court of Justice said that the General Court was correct to remove Hamas from the blacklist the list in 2014.

The ECJ usually follows the recommendations of its top lawyers.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the EU’s political demands on Israel as “absolutely crazy.”

The European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, after the September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Hamas has opposed the sanctions, arguing that it is a legally elected government and therefore has the right to conduct military operations against Israel.

This article has been edited from its original source.


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