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EU’s Second Highest Court Rules that Freeze on Assets of Hamas is Legal

The European Union’s second-highest tribunal on Friday rejected an appeal by the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hamas to stop the EU’s freeze on their assets, The Times of Israel reported.

The General Court of the EU based in Luxembourg threw out a bid by Hamas, which exercises complete political and military control over the Gaza Strip, to end a freeze on their assets that was imposed in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States.

“By its judgment today… the General Court dismisses Hamas’ appeal concerning the acts of the Council adopted between 2010 and 2014 and in 2017,” the court said. It charged that the EU was entitled to continue sanctioning Hamas and maintain its permanent definition as a terrorist organization.

“The General Court observes, contrary to Hamas’ submissions, that holding on to power following elections, the political nature of an organization or its participation in a government do not constitute grounds for avoiding the application of the rules,” the court stated.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza City on Sunday for a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas’s establishment. Addressing the crowd, the group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh praised a recent series of deadly attacks against Israel in the West Bank, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Haniyeh was referring to a shooting Thursday that claimed the lives of two soldiers and injured two others, and Sunday night’s shooting at the West Bank community of Ofra, in which a pregnant woman and six others were injured. The woman’s baby died after being delivered by emergency C-section.

In a statement released by al Jazeera earlier this month, former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal called for “guerrilla warfare” in the West Bank. He described “resistance” – often used by Palestinian groups as a synonym for terror – as “the natural way of life,” and charged that “the abandonment of Jihad leads to humiliation and death.”

Mashal clarified that Hamas’s ultimate goal remains the total destruction of the state of Israel, saying, “Allah willing, this is on the way to its retreat from all of Palestine.”

[Photo: Cédric / Flickr ]