An Egyptian court listed the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organisation, judicial and security sources said on Saturday, one month after a judge listed the group’s armed wing as a terrorist group.
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, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
“The court ruled that Hamas should be included as a terrorist organisation,” Samir Sabry, one of the lawyers who brought the case against Hamas, told Reuters.
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.
A source close to Hamas’ armed wing signalled the group would no longer accept Egypt as a broker between it and Israel after the January decision against Hamas’ Qassam Brigades armed wing.
Cairo has for many years played a central role in engineering ceasefires between Israel and Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, including a truce reached between the sides in August that ended a 50-day Gaza war.