EU court upholds Hamas terror listing

Lucy Bush
July 27, 2017

However, the European Union's top court has made a decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on the list.

Lucas said that should the General Court not decide to review the ruling in the near future, this move "would contextualize Hamas as "terrorists" and set the political tone for the European Union going forward".

In September 2016, the advocate-general of the European Court of Justice, whose advice is usually followed by the judges, recommended that the court uphold the lower court ruling and remove Hamas from being listed as a terrorist group.

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The court thus surprisingly disqualified a 2014 ruling by a lower European Union court that removed Hamas from the list on procedural grounds. "To respect the ruling, the EU must now immediately suspend its deals with Australia and the United States", the NGO European Digital Rights said in a statement.

The top court said decisions by competent authorities are only required for the initial blacklisting of groups or individuals but they are not needed to maintain the listing. "The EJC has thus confirmed the legality of those listings", said Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the EU's ambassador to Israel.

The ECJ's ruling means that the General Court must revisit its decision.

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"While there is no electricity in Gaza, while sewage is overflowing in the streets, while there is no sanitation", because of the economic blockade, "Hamas will remain powerful".

"This means that the LTTE remains listed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union", the statement added.

Earlier this year, Hamas released a political document in an effort to moderate its image. In the new document, Hamas said it accepts a Palestinian state alongside Israel, a departure from the founding charter which envisioned that state in place of a defeated Israel.

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In May, Hamas issued a new policy document in a bid to rebrand itself with softer positions.

Other reports by Info About Network

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