BBCI: EU top court keeps Hamas on terror blacklist

BBCI: EU top court keeps Hamas on terror blacklist

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a statement soon after the 2014 decision saying that the decision by the court taking Hamas off the terrorist list and freeing up its frozen funds in Europe "was clearly based on procedural grounds and did not imply any assessment by the court of the merits of designating Hamas as a terrorist organization".

In an opinion previous year, the ECJ's advocate general Eleanor Sharpston also recommended Hamas be taken off the blacklist which imposes a ban on funding for terror organisations and travel restrictions on its members.

In 2014, the E.U.'s General Court annulled the decision on procedural grounds.

Further the statement said EU institutions systematically review their practices following rulings of the European Court of Justice.

The professor added that he would be "interested to see if the United Kingdom creates its own ruling on Hamas following its divorce from the European Union in the coming years".

ECJ Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston in September joined those demanding Hamas be dropped from the "terror" list.

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The EU's terrorist list was drawn up after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the U.S., to enable the bloc to freeze a group's financial assets and improve the way police and justice officials co-operated. The court often, but not always, follows them.

"The agreement itself has been confirmed even if some have tried to interpret the ECJ's [EU court's] decision differently", he said, adding "the protection of the data of all citizens is less important than the protection of the individual".

The court had contented that the travel ban on Hamas imposed by the member states of the European Union was based on media reports and that the decision was not made by a "competent authority", Reuters reported.

Hamas opposed the sanctions from the start, alluding to its democratic mandate and arguing that it has the right to conduct military operations against the Israeli occupation.

After fighting broke out between the two factions in June 2007, Hamas eventually removed Fatah from the besieged Gaza Strip.

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

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