EU to Appeal Removal of Hamas From Terror List

EU to Appeal Removal of Hamas From Terror ListEU to Appeal Removal of Hamas From Terror List

The European Union will appeal a December court decision ordering the removal of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas from the EU terrorism blacklist, foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday.

Mogherini said foreign ministers from the 28 member states decided at a meeting on Monday to appeal the decision taken by the General Court of the European Union on December 17, AFP said in a report. “This ruling was clearly based on procedural grounds and did not imply any assessment by the court of the merits of designating the Hamas as a terrorist organisation,” Mogherini said in a statement.

Last month’s ruling by the EU’s second highest court had said that the blacklisting of Hamas in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet.

Hamas, which has been in power in the Palestinian territory of Gaza since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.

The EU ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss how to boost cooperation in the face of a growing militant threat following deadly Paris attacks and anti-terror raids in Belgium.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the decision to appeal “is an immoral step, and reflects the EU’s total bias in favor of the Israeli occupation.”

Hamas’s military wing was added to the European Union’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The European Union blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003. The EU court based in Luxembourg said last month that the freeze on Hamas’s funds will also temporarily remain in place for three months pending any appeal by the EU.