Egypt Court Lists Hamas as Terrorist Organization

In January the same court listed the group's military wing as a terrorist group.

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Hamas rally at Nuseirat refugee camp southern Gaza Strip, June 6, 2003.
Hamas rally at Nuseirat refugee camp southern Gaza Strip, June 6, 2003.Credit: AP

An Egyptian court ruled the Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, Egyptian state television reported Saturday, one month after the group's military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, was also designated a terror group by the same court.

The Islamist group called the decision "shocking and dangerous" in a statement issued from Gaza, accusing the Egyptian court of "targeting the Palestinian people and its factions of resistance."

"It will have no influence on the Hamas movement, which enjoys the respect of all the nation and the leaders of the nation."

The verdict handed down by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters on Saturday was the result of two separate private suits filed by lawyers Samir Sabry and Ashraf Said, Ahram reported on Saturday.

While the January decision against Hamas targeted only the armed wing, Saturday's broader ruling could have greater consequences for the already strained relations between Cairo and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip along Egypt's border.

Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and have repressed systematically since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohammed Morsi, from the presidency in 2013.

Egypt has accused Hamas of meddling into its internal affairs and supporting Islamist insurgents in Sinai, accusations that the group has repeatedly denied.

Exactly one month ago, a judge in the same court ruled to ban Hamas' armed wing and to list it as a terrorist group. The case was based on allegations that the armed wing staged terrorist attacks to support the Brotherhood, and carried out a bombing and shooting operation which killed 33 security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula in October of 2014. A source close to Hamas' armed wing signalled the group would no longer accept Cairo as a broker between it and Israel, after the move.

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