EU court removes Hamas from blacklist, saying 2001 decision was flawed

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A European court ordered Hamas removed from a blacklist of terrorist groups, saying its 2001 inclusion was based on press and Internet reports and not legal reasoning.

The decision Wednesday by the Luxembourg-based General Court of the European Union kept Hamas’ assets frozen for three months pending appeals and emphasized that it “not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group,” AFP reported.

“The General Court finds that the contested measures are based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet,” it said.

Hamas’ military wing was added to the first European Union blacklist of terrorist groups, issued in the wake of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Hamas’ political wing was blacklisted in 2003.