Egyptian court ruled to ban the armed wing of Palestine’s Hamas group

January 31, 2015 8:19 am
An Egyptian court ruled on Saturday to ban the armed wing of
’s group and designated it as a terrorist organization,
in a move that was slammed by the Islamist movement as “dangerous.”
“The
court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist
group,” said Judge Mohammad al-Sayid of the special Cairo court which
deals with urgent cases, according to Reuters agency.

Masked Palestinian members of the Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam brigade, the
military wing of Hamas, march with their weapons during a parade to mark
the anniversary of a battle against Israel in City, Thursday, Nov.
14, 2013. (File photo: AP)

The
case was based on allegations that the Qassam Brigades staged terrorist
attacks to support the Muslim Brotherhood and carried out a bombing and
shooting operation which killed 33 security personnel in the Sinai
Peninsula in October of 2014.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim
Brotherhood that listed as a terrorist group in 2013, was voted
into power during 2007 elections in the neighboring Gaza Strip.
“We
reject the Egyptian court’s decision against the Qassam Brigades. It is
a political, dangerous decision that serves only the Zionist [Israeli]
occupation,” Reuters quoted Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri as saying.
Egyptian
officials say weapons are smuggled from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into
Egypt, where they end up with militant groups fighting to topple the
Western-backed Cairo government.
Islamist militants in Egypt’s
Sinai region, which has a border with Gaza, have killed hundreds of
police and soldiers since the political demise of Islamist president
Mohammad Mursi. The insurgency has spread to other parts of Egypt, the
most populous Arab country.
On Thursday night, four separate
attacks on security forces in north Sinai were among the worst in years.
The Egyptian wing of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Sinai
Province, claimed the killing of at least 30 soldiers and police
officers.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi brought a degree of
stability to Egypt and the economy had started to recover from frequent
political violence since a popular uprising four years ago that
overthrew veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Then signs of
discontent emerged in the past week. More than 25 people were killed
last weekend when security forces fired at protesters.
Egyptian
officials say the Brotherhood, Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Sinai
Province, previously called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, share the same
ideology.
The Muslim Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism despite facing one of the toughest crackdowns in its history.
Militant
attacks in Sinai, while far from Cairo and tourist attractions, have
hurt government efforts to project an image of stability to win back
foreign investors and tourists.
On Saturday, a sniper wounded a
soldier in a village in central Sinai, security sources told Reuters
news agency. In northern Sinai, Islamist militant gunmen killed a
Christian man suspected of cooperating with Egyptian authorities.

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