Published: Thu, July 27, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

European Union court rules to keep Hamas on terror list

European Union court rules to keep Hamas on terror list

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on an appeal lodged by the Council of the EU after the European General Court (EGC) chose to scrap Palestinian Islamist group's retention on the terror list in 2014.

The court overruled a lower court's ruling, which found in December 2014 the Palestinian Islamist group could be removed from the list as the designation was not based on an independent investigation.

Just previous year, ECJ Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston also recommended that Hamas be taken off the blacklist after arguing that the decision to uphold the judgment on Hamas was based on media reports rather than legal arguments.

Founded in 1987, Hamas has carried out numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians and military personnel, including shooting, stabbings, suicide bombings and rocket attacks on towns that have killed hundreds of people.

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Following an appeal by Brussels, the European court of justice said on Wednesday the annulment by the lower court was wrong and must be reconsidered.

ECJ Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston in September joined those demanding Hamas be dropped from the "terror" list. The EU needed to rely on more recent material than used in its initial decision, it said. Wednesday's ruling by the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice ruled in the Council's favor. It also added that Hamas assets must remain frozen for three months pending an appeal.

Hamas beat out the ruling Fatah party by a landslide during the 2006 legislative elections in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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

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