Top EU Court Overrules Lower Court, Keeping Hamas on Terrorism Blacklist

Top EU Court Overrules Lower Court, Keeping Hamas on Terrorism Blacklist

Lucas said that should the General Court not decide to review the ruling in the near future, this move "would contextualize Hamas as "terrorists" and set the political tone for the European Union going forward".

That court found that the listing was based on media and Internet reports rather than solid legal arguments.

"With regard to Hamas, the Court observes that the General Court annulled the continued freezing of funds exclusively on the ground that the Council had not referred, by way of justification, to national decisions by competent authorities". The application was an appeal for a stay of execution, to set aside both decisions.

Julian King, the EU Commissioner in charge of security, said during a news conference on Wednesday that he would communicate later in the day with Canadian officials about renegotiating the deal.

It also said that letting Canada keep the data in huge banks for up to five years and to share it with non-EU states went too far.

Accordingly, the ECJ "should annul the measures. on procedural grounds", Sharpston said.

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"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 ECJ found that the General Court's 2014 ruling was based on "an error of law".

Hamas has opposed the sanctions, arguing that it is a legally elected government and therefore has the right to conduct military operations against Israel.

Hamas beat out the ruling Fatah party by a landslide during the 2006 legislative elections in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Neither Hamas nor Israel had an immediate reaction.

Matthew Levitt and Maxine Rich of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy described the document as an attempt by Hamas "at widening its worldwide appeal at a time when the group faces multiple challenges".

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