An Egyptian appeals court on Saturday canceled a ruling to list the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organization, judicial sources said, signaling a possible easing of pressure on the Gaza Strip’s ruling faction.
Hamas welcomed the decision by Egypt, which faces an islamist insurgency it says is fueled by weapons smuggled from Gaza. Hamas said the ruling would help relations with Cairo.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood which the authorities have declared a terrorist group and have repressed since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
Cairo has for many years played a central role in engineering ceasefires between neighboring Israel and Hamas, which dominates Gaza, including a truce reached between the sides in August that ended a 50-day war.
Egyptian officials say weapons are smuggled from Gaza into Egypt where they end up with militant groups fighting to topple Cairo’s Western-backed government.
Islamist militants based in Egypt’s Sinai region, bordering Gaza and Israel, have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since Mursi’s political demise following protests against his rule. The insurgency has spread to other parts of Egypt, the most populous Arab country.
Read the rest here.
In February, the GMBDW reported on the Egyptian court ruling that banned the military wing of Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organization. In March we reported on another court ruling, this time designating the Hamas political wing also as a terrorist organization. At that, we also reported on an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood statement condemning the decision to designate the Hamas political wing. Later in March we reported on what was said to be an annulment of at least one of these decisions although which one was not clear at this time.