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16:31, 16 January 2018 Tuesday
Update: 16:45, 28 February 2015 Saturday

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Hamas: Egypt no longer 'impartial sponsor'
Hamas: Egypt no longer 'impartial sponsor'

Palestinian faction Hamas denounced as "shocking" an Egyptian court decision to designate the movement a "terrorist organization".

World Bulletin / News Desk

Palestinian faction Hamas said Saturday that Egypt is no longer an impartial sponsor following an Egyptian court decision designating the movement as a "terrorist organization."

"With this politicized verdict, Egypt is serving the Israeli enemy and is no longer an impartial sponsor to any Palestinian issue," Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip Fawzi Barhoum told The Anadolu Agency.

Egypt has been playing a major role in the reconciliation process between rival groups Hamas and Fatah since the former took control of the Strip in the summer of 2007.

It has also mediated a cease-fire between Palestinian factions and Israel, under which a 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which left at least 2,160 Palestinians dead, came to an end.

Earlier Saturday, an Egyptian court designated Hamas as a "terrorist" group over claims that the group had carried out attacks in Egypt through tunnels linking the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip.

Barhoum suggested that Saturday's court verdict was "in coordination" between Egypt and Israel with the aim of "targeting" the Palestinian resistance.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri slammed the desicion saying "labeling Hamas as a terrorist organization is a dangerous decision that represents a shift in Egyptian-Palestinian relations."

"Unfortunately, the situation has been turned upside down: Israel the enemy has become a friend of Egypt while Hamas – which is an integral part of the Palestinian people – has become a terrorist," Abu Zuhri said.

The spokesman, however, said that Hamas will not be affected by the Egyptian court verdict as it came to "export Egypt's domestic problems."

'Ill-timed'

Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad also rejected the verdict in a statement saying that "does not reflect the stance of the Egyptian people."

"This verdict will only serve Israel," it added.

Meanwhile, a leading Palestinian politician denounced as "ill-timed" the Egyptian court verdict.

"The [Egyptian court's] decision is hasty and ill-time, especially that Hamas represents a large part of the Palestinian people and plays a heroic role," Qais Abd al-Karim, a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told The Anadolu Agency.

"Labeling Hamas as a terrorist group weakens the position of the Palestinian resistance," he said.

"[The verdict] comes at an unusual time," he added.

Abd al-Karim called on Hamas to "translate its words into actions, distance itself from involvement in Egypt's internal affairs and disengage from the Muslim Brotherhood."

In March 2014, the same Egyptian court outlawed Hamas' activities in Egypt and confiscated its offices.

The court had said that the ban would be temporary until another court – which is trying ousted President Mohamed Morsi for alleged "collaboration" with Hamas to carry out "hostile" acts in Egypt – delivers its final verdict.

Last month, a court declared the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, a terrorist organization.

A number of Hamas members have been among the defendants in two trials that Morsi – a Muslim Brotherhood leader – currently faces for alleged espionage and jailbreak.

Egypt's media has blamed Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Brotherhood, for a series of deadly attacks on security forces since Morsi's ouster. Hamas has consistently denied the allegations.

 



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