Hamas, LTTE Will No Longer be Considered Terrorist Groups: EU

The United States has urged the maintenance of sanctions on Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement.

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World
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Protestors in New Delhi demanding to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Picture used only for representational purposes.(Photo: Reuters)

The European Union’s top court took a step on Thursday towards confirming the removal of Hamas and the Tamil Tigers from an EU terrorism blacklist, despite protestations from Israel and the Sri Lankan government.

An advocate general at the European Court of Justice, whose advice is usually followed by judges, recommended that they reject an appeal by the Council of EU member states against the lower General Court’s decisions in late 2014 to remove both movements from the sanctions list due to flawed procedures.

At the time, Israel, which has had fraught relations with the EU in recent years, recalled Europeans’ treatment of Jews in the Holocaust and denounced the bloc’s “staggering hypocrisy”.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said of Thursday’s recommendation:

This is only a (legal) opinion which is not binding on the court and is part of the European judicial process. We are convinced that the European Union will do all that is required in order to keep Hamas, an active terrorist group, on the European terror list.

The United States has urged the maintenance of sanctions on Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip and has fought Israel for three decades.

The Sri Lankan government had said in 2014 that it would provide the evidence which the court found lacking to support sanctions against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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