Press TV- The European Union’s top court has ruled that Hamas should remain on the 28-nation bloc’s “terror” blacklist, rejecting an earlier decision by a lower court to remove the Palestinian resistance movement from the list.
The European Union first placed Hamas on the list in 2001. In 2014, the General Court removed the Palestinian resistance movement’s name.
It said back then that the blacklisting had been based on information from the media and the Internet instead of establishing independently that the group deserved to be brought under sanctions.
On Wednesday, however, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) repealed the General Court’s verdict, responding to an appeal against it by EU member states.
The ECJ’s decision came by surprise as one of its senior lawyers had said last September that Hamas should not have been included on the terror list as the EU’s original decision to blacklist it had featured “procedural mistakes” that invalidated the decision.
Hamas has slammed the sanctions resulting from the listing, arguing that it is a legally-elected government after winning the Palestinian legislative elections back in 2006.
Should the ECJ’s decision have kept Hamas off the list, it would have further angered Israel, which is already too critical of the EU’s condemnations of the regime’s settlement construction on the occupied Palestinian territories.
Beside its frequent attacks on Gaza, Tel Aviv has been keeping the territory under a crippling blockade, which is estimated to eventually render it uninhabitable by 2020.