The EU’s General Court ruled that the bloc can extend the freezing of funds belonging to Hamas, the Palestinian militant group.
An extended panel of judges rejected as unfounded Hamas’ arguments that the Council of the EU wrongly assessed it as a terrorist organisation, failed to respect it as a sovereign entity — Hamas governs Gaza — and infringed on its right to property.
Hamas brought its appeal in 2015. At that time, the General Court — the lower of the EU’s two judicial bodies in Luxembourg — paused the procedure while awaiting a decision on a separate case at the EU’s higher judicial body, the Court of Justice. In that matter, judges went on to decide in 2017 that Hamas should remain on Europe’s blacklist of terrorist organizations.
The judgment echoed a separate General Court decision from December 2018, which dismissed by Hamas against the EU freezing its funds because of links to terrorism.