The European General Court on Friday ruled that EU lawmakers were entitled to rely on the findings of the U.K. home secretary who recommended freezing the Hamas assets back in 2014.
The EU labeled Hamas a terrorist organization shortly after 9/11.
Friday’s ruling reverses once and for all an earlier decision of a Luxembourg-based General Court which rebuked the Council of the European Union for freezing the assets based on “factual imputations derived from the press and the internet.”
The Luxembourg court revoked the assets freeze, but the funds remained on hold, pending an appeal, which the European Court of Justice accepted in 2017, overturning the Luxembourg court’s decision. On Friday, the General Court ruled that Hamas has no standing to appeal the freeze.
“In the acts challenged,” the court said on Friday, “the council was not required to set out the facts on which the Home Secretary’s decision was based, or to verify the classification of those facts with regard to Common Position 2001/931. There was also no need to refer to the arrangements for review of that decision.”
“Since Hamas is not a sovereign state, it cannot rely, in support of its claim, on the principle of non-interference to try to annul the decisions of the council,” the court said in a press release issued on Friday.