EU to appeal removal of Hamas from terror blacklist
BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove (L) shakes hands with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini at the start of a European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels January 19, 2015. REUTERS PhotoThe European Union will appeal a December court decision ordering the removal of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from the EU terrorism blacklist, foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Jan. 19.
Mogherini said foreign ministers from the 28 member states decided at a meeting on Monday to appeal the decision taken by the General Court of the European Union on December 17.
"This ruling was clearly based on procedural grounds and did not imply any assessment by the court of the merits of designating the Hamas as a terrorist organisation," Mogherini said in a statement.
Hamas slammed as "immoral" the EU appeal to keep it on the bloc's terror blacklist.
"The European Union's insistence on keeping Hamas on the list of terrorist organizations is an immoral step, and reflects the EU's total bias in favour of the Israeli occupation," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
Last month's ruling by the EU's second highest court had said that the blacklisting of Hamas in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet.
Hamas, which has been in power in the Palestinian territory of Gaza since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.
The EU ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss how to boost cooperation in the face of a growing Islamist militant threat following deadly Paris attacks and anti-terror raids in Belgium.