EU court takes Palestinian group Hamas off terrorist list on technicality, keeps assets frozen

A European Union court has ordered the Palestinian group Hamas removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons, but says the bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members.

Hamas has been on the EU terrorist list since 2001. The Islamic militant group, which now runs Gaza, has long contested the classification.

The EU court ruled Wednesday that the listing was based on press and Internet reports and not on "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities."

The court insisted that its ruling was based on procedure and did not "imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group." It therefore ruled that the asset freezes should stay in place for three months, pending further EU actions.