Yesterday, the EU General Court annulled the terrorist designation of Hamas on “procedural grounds.”
In 2002, the EU had banned the group’s military “wing,” the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and in September 2003, following a series of Hamas suicide bombings during the Second Intifada, the EU expanded the listing to include the entire group.
On Sep. 12, 2010, Hamas appealed its designation as a terrorist entity. The Hamas appeal asserted a lack of due process, saying that it did not receive notification of the act and that “mere publication” of the EU decision in the Official Journal of the European Union “cannot be deemed to be notification of such an act.”
Hamas asserted that its rights were infringed according to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 6(3)(a), “concerning the right of an accused person to be informed promptly, in a language he understands.”
A plethora of Hamas criminal cases have been opened within EU member states over the past few years, providing plentiful information derived from strictly European sources regarding the group’s terrorist nature. Those investigations should now serve as the basis for a renewed EU terrorist designation of Hamas. Read more from Matthew Levitt HERE.
While the EU General Court in Luxembourg accepted the petition by Hamas to be removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations, the court postponed implementing the ruling for three months to allow for appeal.
Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu responded, “We expect them [the EU] to immediately put Hamas back on the list….Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization, which states in its charter that its goal is to destroy Israel.”