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Top European Court Upholds Terrorist Designation for Hamas

July 30, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the years, among other acts of terror. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

Europe’s most powerful court last week overturned a decision to annul the European Union’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. The Independent reported that the European Court of Justice dismissed a decision from a lower court that argued the designation needed to be the result of an independent European investigation and had strictly been based on news reports and the internet.

The ECJ instead noted that simply an “ongoing risk” of terrorist activities was required to be on the terror list and that the EU did not need to do it’s own investigation. Not that that would have been too difficult. Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at Israel, claimed credit for suicide bombings and kidnappings in a period spanning multiple decades. The United States—which also designates Hamas as a terrorist organization—applauded the European court’s decision.

A statement from the U.S. State Department on the court action noted that Hamas “remains engaged in terrorist activity.” Despite a change in leadership at Hamas, the U.S. not only remains troubled by the organization, but the new leader only underscores those concerns given that he too has been designated as a terrorist by the U.S. The State Department statement said, “Hamas’s election of Yehya Sinwar as their political leader in Gaza earlier this year illustrates that the organization remains a terrorist threat. Sinwar is a hardline military commander.”

Meanwhile, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner responded to a report o the ECJ decision to keep Hamas designated as terrorists by tweeting, “Good news.”

Hamas is on a list of regional troublemakers backed by Iran. A previous State Department statement earlier in July noted that “Iran continues to support terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that threaten Israel and stability in the Middle East.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 30, 2017)

 

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