EU court upholds freeze on Hamas funds, keeps group on terror blacklist
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EU court upholds freeze on Hamas funds, keeps group on terror blacklist

General court rejects Gaza rulers’ arguments ‘in their totality,’ dealing terrorist organization the latest in a series of legal blows

Illustrative: Masked youth cadets from the Hamas terror group's military-wing march in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis on September 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)
Illustrative: Masked youth cadets from the Hamas terror group's military-wing march in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis on September 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

A European Union court on Wednesday upheld a freeze on Hamas funds as it rejected the Palestinian group’s appeal against its EU listing as a terrorist organization.

The General Court’s ruling amounted to the latest rejection of Hamas’s efforts to be struck from an EU blacklist created in 2001 based on a UN resolution following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

“In today’s judgment the General Court looks into each of the arguments made by Hamas and rejects them in their totality,” the Luxembourg-based court said in a statement.

As a result, “the decision to extend the freezing of Hamas funds is confirmed.”

The court upheld an EU 2015 decision to keep Hamas on the blacklist, saying it accepted a British finding that Hamas was still carrying out terror acts between 2011 and 2014.

The court recalled Hamas argued the updated 2015 blacklist was based on errors in “the materiality of the facts” and in assessing the organization’s “terrorist character.”

The group also claimed the EU violated the principle of non-interference and infringed the rights of defense, judicial protection and property.

The European Council, which groups the 28 EU member states, has regularly included Hamas on the blacklist, including in 2015.

In December, the General Court, the bloc’s second highest tribunal, dismissed Hamas’ appeal against acts of the European Council adopted between 2010 and 2014 and in 2017.

The case can be appealed before the EU Court of Justice, the bloc’s highest.

The Hamas terror group, which openly seeks Israel’s destruction and has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli cities, has ruled the blockaded Gaza Strip since 2007 when it ousted the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup.

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