European Union top court rules to keep Hamas on terrorism blacklist

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European Union top court rules to keep Hamas on terrorism blacklist

The European Union's highest court on Wednesday ruled that Hamas was and remains a terrorist group and therefore should not have been removed from the terrorist blacklist by the EU second-highest court in 2014. However, the ECJ said on Wednesday that a decision by a competent authority was only required for an initial listing, with no such condition for subsequent retention. That court found the listing was based on media and internet reports rather than solid legal arguments, sparking outrage in Israel and Washington.

But the ECJ said such decisions were not needed to keep groups on the list. The EU appealed against that decision.

The top court said that the military defeat of the separatist group in 2009 "represents a significant change in circumstances, one that is capable of calling in question the ongoing nature of the risk of the LTTE's (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) involvement in terrorist activities".

The court said that European Union had not produced any evidence to show that there was a risk of the Tamil Tigers carrying out attacks after its military defeat in 2009. It also added that Hamas assets must remain frozen for three months pending an appeal.

Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza since 2006, has been listed as a proscribed organisation since 2001, following the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Hamas' political wing was blacklisted in 2003.

ECJ chose to keep Sri Lankan militant group LTTE off the list.

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