EU to Keep Hamas on Terrorist List, Appeal Court Ruling

The European Union said it will appeal a ruling that may force it to remove the Palestinian militant group Hamas from its terrorist blacklist.

The Dec. 17 ruling by the EU General Court “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,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement in Brussels today.

Last month’s ruling provoked an angry reaction in Israel, which has conducted three major military operations against Hamas since the group gained full control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. The U.S. also brandishes Hamas as a terrorist entity.

Hamas will remain on the banned list with its assets frozen in Europe pending a final decision by the EU’s highest court. EU governments have reinstated prior sanctions that were thrown out for procedural reasons, especially on Iran.

No date was set for a decision by the top tribunal, the Court of Justice. It takes up to 18 months to rule on appeals.

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