EU high court overturns ruling that removed Hamas from terror list

Europe's highest court ruled that the EU's listing of Hamas as a terrorist group was done legitimately, overruling a lower court finding.

Dan Verbin ,

European Union court (illustrative)
European Union court (illustrative)

The European Union’s Court of Justice has upheld the listing of Hamas as a designated terrorist organization, overturning a lower court ruling the removed Hamas from the list due to a technicality.

The Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, announced on Tuesday that it had overturned the annulment of Hamas being listed as a terrorist organization. The designation froze the Islamist group’s funding and economic resources in Europe.

The General Court on September 4 removed Hamas from the list because it found that the European Council had failed to authenticate by means of several signatures the statements related to the acts of terrorism given as evidence for Hamas’s designation.

Hamas was added to the terrorism list in 2018 by the European Council, the body composed of all member stats that defines that policies of the EU.

European lawyers representing Hamas had appealed the move, alleging that the EU had failed to follow its own procedures. They specifically pointed to the fact that on several portions of the application designating Hamas as a terrorist entity, the signatures of the president and secretary general of the council were absent.

The Court of Justice in its ruling said that the European Council’s original listing of Hamas was within the confines of European law, and as such was legitimate, even if it did not follow proper procedures.

“The Council produced documents demonstrating that the statements of reasons were adopted simultaneously with the acts at issue signed by the President and the Secretary-General of the Council, to which they were inseparably attached, and that Hamas has not put forward any evidence that could call into question the fact that the text of the statements of reasons that were notified to it and the text adopted by the Council correspond perfectly,” said the Court of Justice ruling. “Since the authenticity of those statements of reasons has not been validly challenged by Hamas, the Court concludes that the action brought by Hamas must be dismissed in its entirety.”