EU court upholds freeze on Hamas funds
LUXEMBOURG - A European Union court on Wednesday upheld a freeze on Hamas funds as it rejected the Palestinian Islamist movement's appeal against its EU listing as a terrorist organisation.
The General Court's ruling amounted to the latest rejection of Hamas's efforts to be struck from an EU blacklist created in 2001 based on a UN resolution following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
"In today's judgment the General Court looks into each of the arguments made by Hamas and rejects them in their totality," the Luxembourg-based court said in a statement.
As a result, "the decision to extend the freezing of Hamas funds is confirmed."
The court upheld an EU 2015 decision to keep Hamas on the blacklist, saying it accepted a British finding that Hamas was still carrying out terror acts between 2011 and 2014.
The court recalled Hamas argued the updated 2015 blacklist was based on errors in "the materiality of the facts" and in assessing the organisation's "terrorist character."
The group also claimed the EU violated the principle of non-interference and infringed the rights of defence, judicial protection and property.
The European Council, which groups the 28 EU member states, has regularly included Hamas on the blacklist, including in 2015.
In December, the General Court, the bloc's second highest tribunal, dismissed Hamas' appeal against acts of the European Council adopted between 2010 and 2014 and in 2017.
The case can be appealed before the EU Court of Justice, the bloc's highest.
The Hamas militant group has ruled the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip since 2007 when it ousted the Palestine Liberation Organisation in bloody fighting.