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Africa

Hamas angered by Egyptian court’s ‘terrorist’ label

media Gazans watch members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades take part in a military parade marking the 27th anniversary of Hamas's founding Reuters/Mohammed Salem

In Gaza the Islamist Hamas party has voiced outrage over an Egyptian court's ruling earlier this week that labels the group a terrorist organisation. Many Hamas leaders in Gaza say this week's ruling is “dangerous” and will only serve the interests of Israel.

On 31 January the same court branded Hamas's military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam, terrorists.

Hamas insists it is a national Palestinian liberation movement and has nothing to do with acts of violence across the border in the nearby Sinai peninsula, where dozens of Egyptian soldiers have been killed after Egypt's Islamist president , Mohammad Morsi, was ousted by Egypt's military in July 2013.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Gaza-based political analyst, Ibrahim Abrash, has downplayed Hamas's reaction and says that Hamas should have responded through legal channels.

However, Abrash warns of potential repercussions to the move.

"When Egypt, which has close ties with some key Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, labels Hamas that is resisting the Israeli occupation, I believe those Arab countries will probably start dealing differently with Hamas," he told RFI.

Since Egypt's military overthrew Mohammad Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood over 18 months ago, incumbernt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has severed ties with Hamas-ruled Gaza, closing the Rafah border crossing and destroying the majority of underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.

The latest court ruling was in response to two local Egyptian lawyers filing petitions against Hamas.
 

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