European Union rules Islamic militant group Hamas to remain on list of terror groups

EU's top court ruled that Hamas should stay on the its terror list, saying a lower court should not have ordered the group to be removed from the list

AP July 26, 2017 14:59:20 IST
European Union rules Islamic militant group Hamas to remain on list of terror groups

Brussels: The European Union's top court ruled on Wednesday that Islamic militant group Hamas should stay on the its terror list, saying a lower court should not have ordered the group to be removed from the list.

European Union rules Islamic militant group Hamas to remain on list of terror groups

Representational image. Reuters

The European Union originally listed Hamas as a terror group in 2001, a move that froze assets of the organisation in the European Union. However the decision was annulled on procedural grounds by an European Union court in 2014.

The European Union appealed and Wednesday's ruling by the European Union Court of Justice said that the 2014 annulment was wrong and must now be reconsidered taking into account arguments not ruled upon in the original decision. However, it added that Hamas funds will continue to be frozen pending the outcome of the reconsideration.

Neither Hamas nor Israel had an immediate reaction.

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

At the same time, Hamas also upheld its right of armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, noting that its fight is against occupation, not Jews.

In another terror listing case Wednesday, the court upheld a decision ordering the removal of the Sri Lankan rebel group Tamil Tigers from the terror list. The organisation, formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was put on the list in 2006, but the group was defeated by Sri Lankan forces in 2009.

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