Cairo: An Egyptian court on Satuday overturned a decision of another tribunal which listed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Quashing the earlier ruling, the Urgent Matters Appeals Court cited a lack of jurisdiction as the reason for annulling the decision.
Last February, a tribunal listed Hamas as a terrorist group after two separate private suits were filed by two lawyers against the group, accusing it of interfering into Egypt’s internal affairs and supporting Islamist insurgents that targeted military and police personnel in Sinai. The Islamist movement had strongly condemned the February verdict — which came a month after another court ruled Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a “terrorist group”.
In a statement, Hamas today welcomed the Egyptian court’s decision, saying the new decision corrects “a wrong decision”. Egyptian authorities have accused Hamas, considered as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian sister organisation, of backing jihadists who have carried out deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula that borders the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Egypt has declared Muslim Brotherhood itself as a terrorist group in December 2013. Since Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
In March 2014, Egypt banned all Hamas activities on its soil and froze its assets.