AN Egyptian court has declared Hamas a “terrorist” organisation, weeks after the Palestinian movement’s armed wing was given the same designation, reports said.
A judicial source told AFP news agency that the court issued the verdict on Saturday, a ruling seen as keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamist groups by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The verdict resulted from two separate private suits filed by two lawyers against the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, rejected the court decision as “very dangerous.”
“They are now saying that the [Palestinian] resistance and struggle against the occupation is a crime,” he said.
The relationship between Egypt’s authorities and the Hamas has soured since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt also banned since the military coup in 2013.
Since then, Egyptian authorities have accused Hamas of aiding armed groups, who have waged a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
In January, an Egyptian court also declared Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades a “terrorist” group.
The case was based on allegations that al-Qassam staged attacks to support the Muslim Brotherhood, and carried out deadly operations in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, allegations that the group denied.
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