Hamas to stay on EU terror blacklist

The European Court of Justice ruling reverses a 2014 decision from a lower court


The EU’s highest court has ruled that Hamas is to remain on the European Union’s terrorism blacklist.

The decision by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg was announced this morning. It reverses a 2014 ruling by the General Court which sought to annul the original 2001 terror listing of Hamas, which froze its assets in the EU and instituted travel bans for known members.

The lower court had ruled that the EU’s original classification of Hamas had been based on internet reports and hearsay instead of an independent investigation, and was therefore invalid.

However, in its ruling today, the ECJ said that the EU was not legally obliged to undertake such an investigation, and that groups could be listed if “there is an ongoing risk of that person or entity being involved in the terrorist activities”.

“The ECJ therefore sets aside the 2014 judgment of the General Court,” the statement continued. 

“It refers the case back to the General Court so that the latter may examine the facts and arguments on which it did not rule in its 2014 judgment."

Israel’s embassy to the European Union tweeted that it “welcome[d] the ECJ ruling which confirmed the legality of Hamas listing in 2010-2014 (the ruling did not concern current listing).

“The EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organisation; measures restricting its activity remain in force”.

Commenting on the ruling, Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), said:

“Hamas’s track record as a terrorist organisation is without question and the European Court of Justice’s decision is welcome and proper. As a society, we should not tolerate any organisation who has within its Charter a pledge to wipe out Jews or any other race.

“We hope that this decision will make a practical difference, that relevant authorities will now clamp down on any displays of support for Hamas and that those apologists for Hamas take careful note of this decision. When we exit the European Union, it is important that the EU’s full proscription of Hamas is adopted by the UK.”

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