Cairo court ruling bans activities by Hamas in Egypt, branding it a terrorist organization, ordering all Hamas offices in the country shut down & all dealings with the group be suspended.
By The Associated Press & Israel Hayom Staff
An Egyptian court ruled on Tuesday to ban Hamas activities in the country, branding the group a terrorist organization.
A Hamas rally in Gaza [Archive] – Photo: AP
The Cairo court ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt and the suspension of all dealings with the group.
Egypt’s relations with Hamas have sharply deteriorated since the Egyptian military overthrew the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last July. Egypt’s interim leaders maintain that Hamas is playing a key role in the insurgency by militants in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, addressing a previously scheduled news conference, said he was not aware of the ruling, but added: “Whoever threatens Egypt’s security should understand that there will be consequences.”
Egyptian authorities have destroyed many of the smuggling tunnels running under the Egypt-Gaza border.
Hamas is the Palestinian chapter of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the two forged close ties during Morsi’s year in office.
In Gaza, senior Hamas official Izzat Rishq condemned Tuesday’s ruling, saying the movement viewed it as a “political decision.”
Morsi and scores of Brotherhood leaders are in detention, facing a multitude of trials on a wide range of charges including several that carry the death penalty.
Two of those cases involve Hamas members, accused of assisting Morsi and others in escaping from prison in 2011. Morsi and others are also charged in a separate trial of leaking state secrets to Hamas.
Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Urgent Matters was the result of a case brought before the court by an Egyptian lawyer seeking a verdict branding Hamas a terrorist organization and suspending any dealings with it.
The ruling said Hamas was founded in 1988 as an Islamic resistance movement but later abandoned that course and became a terrorist organization.
Samir Sabry, the lawyer who filed the case, said the ruling meant that any Hamas member currently in Egypt has now lost any legal cover for his stay and should be arrested.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=15911