The European Union (EU) on 19 January 2015 decided to appeal a decision by the European Court of Justice(ECJ) to remove Hamas from its official terrorist organization blacklist. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini decided to appeal in a meeting with other foreign ministers from the 28 EU-member states.
ECJ announced its decision in December 2014. It came in for sharp criticism for removing Hamas from the list, with both the US and Canada condemning the move and urging Hamas to be put back on the terrorist list.
EU claimed that 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.
Further, the decision to remove Hamas from the list was said to have been the result of a technicality, with it being claimed that the group's inclusion in the list was against EU procedures and without sufficient evidence.
According to the court, Hamas's inclusion was based largely on articles in the press as opposed to legal judgments.
The cause for Hamas's removal was due to EU terror list rules requiring new information every six months to reevaluate terrorist standing. Apparently classified intelligence had not been used as proof due to fears of tipping off Hamas, and instead news reports were submitted.
Hamas was added to the terror list in 2003 following a push by Israel and the US to have the radical Islamist terror group - whose charter pledges to destroy Israel and calls for a genocide against the Jewish people - recognized as such in Europe.
About European Court of Justice
The European Court of Justice (ECJ), is the highest court in the European Union in matters of European Union law. As a part of the Court of Justice of the European Union it is tasked with interpreting EU law and ensuring its equal application across all EU member states.
The court sits in Luxemburg.
Who: The European Union
When: 19 January 2015