EU to Appeal Ruling That Hamas Should Be Removed From Terror List

EU also calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries to boost cooperation and information-sharing in the wake of deadly attacks.

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Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzuq, on the right, greeting supporters in Gaza City in 2014.
Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzuq, on the right, greeting supporters in Gaza City in 2014.Credit: AFP

The European Union will appeal a court ruling that Hamas should be removed from the bloc's terrorist list and its funds should be frozen, saying the decision was based on a flawed process and insufficient evidence, EU officials said Monday.

The EU Council "has decided to appeal the judgment regarding Hamas remaining on the EU terrorist list," EU spokeswoman Susanne Kiefer wrote on Twitter.

Israel's Foreign Ministry, which condemned the court ruling last month, said Monday that Israel "welcomes the European Union decision" to appeal the ruling. "The European Union decision is a good reflection of the position that Hamas was and remains a terror organization."

The EU Court of Justice ruled last month that Hamas should be removed from the list, saying the decision to include it had been based on media reports rather than considered analysis.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday the court ruling was primarily procedural and did not deal with the substance of the question of whether or not Hamas is a terror group.

"The fight against terrorism remains a priority for the European Union," she said in a statement. "In this sense, the EU is determined to stem the financing of terrorism, for which EU autonomous measures are an essential tool."

She said implementation of the ruling would be suspended while the appeal was being considered, adding that the European Union is considering changing the way in which organizations are added to the terror list.

Meanwhile, the European Union is calling for an anti-terror alliance with Arab countries to boost cooperation and information-sharing in the wake of deadly attacks and arrests across Europe.

"We need to strengthen our way of cooperating together," Mogherini told reporters Monday, ahead of talks with EU foreign ministers in Brussels to be attended by Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby.

The foreign ministers' meeting will prepare in part for a summit of EU leaders in February focused on terrorism.

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