EU court orders Hamas removed from terror list

A European court has ruled that the Palestinian militant group Hamas must be removed from a European Union list of designated terror groups.

The General Court of the European Union said Wednesday that the EU improperly included Hamas on the basis of information it got from the media and the Internet.

An EU measure in 2001 also added 12 other groups and 29 individuals to the list, but said they could only be designated terrorists based on “acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities.”

The ruling Wednesday is open for appeal.

The court said the asset freezes that came with Hamas being on the terror list will remain in place for three months or until the appeals process is exhausted.  That decision was made to ensure that the freezes would remain effective if they were to be reinstated.

The court also stressed in a statement that the ruling was procedural and “does not imply any substantive assessment” of whether Hamas carries out actions that define a terrorist group.