The European Union decided on Friday to keep Hamas blacklisted despite a December court ruling that said it should be removed from the “terrorist” list. The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement was put on the list by the EU in 2003.
The EU bureaucracy in Brussels has appealed against the court ruling. “Hamas stays on the list during the appeal against the December judgement,” wrote Susanne Kiefer, a spokeswoman for the European Council, on Twitter.
The Hamas military wing was added to the EU’s first-ever terrorist blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, even though the movement had nothing whatsoever to do with them. The EU then added the political wing of Hamas to the list in 2003.
However, last December the General Court of the European Union ruled that blacklisting Hamas was not based on legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet. This judgement was criticised at the time by the Israeli occupation government, which accused Hamas of carrying out deliberate acts of terror against Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Hamas described the EU’s appeal against the General Court’s judgement as “immoral” and condemned the union for working against its own judicial system. “It is unjust and wrong to our people and legitimate resistance,” responded spokesman Fawzi Barhum, “and it encourages the Israeli occupation to continue its crimes.”
He added that Hamas rejects the EU appeal decision and calls for it to be reviewed.