BRUSSELS, Belgium — A top EU court on Friday threw out an appeal by the Palestinian organization Hamas against its listing by the bloc as a terrorist organization.
The General Court of the EU rejected a bid by Hamas, the terror group which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, to end a freeze on assets held in the bloc that was imposed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The ruling by the Luxembourg-based court is the latest round in a protracted legal battle between the EU and Hamas, which has opposed the sanctions from the outset.
“By its judgment today… the General Court dismisses Hamas’ appeal concerning the acts of the Council adopted between 2010 and 2014 and in 2017,” the bloc’s second-highest tribunal said.
In July 2017 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) overturned an earlier ruling by the General Court that Hamas should be dropped from the terror list because the EU had made the decision based on information from the media and internet.
The ECJ, the bloc’s highest court, ruled that the General Court had erred in law and should examine the case again.
In Friday’s ruling, the General Court said the EU was entitled to list Hamas as a terrorist organization on the basis of a decision made by the British interior minister.
“The General Court observes, contrary to Hamas’ submissions, that holding on to power following elections, the political nature of an organization or its participation in a government do not constitute grounds for avoiding the application of the rules,” the court said.