Hamas on Friday denounced a European Union decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist group and de facto Gaza Strip ruler on its terrorism blacklist, despite a court ordering its removal.
“This decision completely contradicts the court’s ruling,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP.
“It is unjust and wrong to our people and legitimate resistance, and also encourages the occupation to continue its crimes,” he said of Israel.
“We reject this decision and call for its review, and to remove all forms of injustice against our people and Hamas,” Barhum said.
Brussels has lodged an appeal against a December ruling by the bloc’s second highest court that Hamas should be removed from the list for the first time since 2001.
A spokeswoman for the European Council said on Friday Hamas would stay “on list” during the council’s appeal process, which is expected to take around a year and a half.
Hamas’s military wing was added to the EU’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
The EU then blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003.
But the General Court of the European Union ruled last year that the Hamas blacklisting was based not on sound legal judgments but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet.