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EU court removes Hamas from list of terrorist outfits

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EU court removes Hamas from list of terrorist outfits
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Brussels: The European Union (EU) General Court Wednesday cancelled measures that kept the Palestinian group Hamas on the EU list of terrorist organisations.

The court, based in Luxembourg, said that the effects of the measures would be maintained temporarily to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of the group's funds.

According to the ruling, the court found that such measures were not based on "concrete examinations" of Hamas's acts but rather on "imputations derived from the media and the internet".

The EU terrorist organisation list was established in 2001 and Hamas was added following the Sep 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US.

Any assets held by entities or individuals linked to groups on the list within the 28 members of the union are frozen.

Hamas had appealed against the measures that kept its name on the list.

The freezing of funds must be based on thorough examinations and confirmed decisions of the competent national authorities, according to the court.

The measures are to last for three months, unless an appeal is brought before the EU Court of Justice, the highest judicial body within the union.

The court also stated that its verdict was based on procedural grounds and does not imply "any substantive assessment of the questions of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group".

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