Egypt court bans activities of Hamas movement

Hamas condemned the ruling, saying it targeted the Palestinian cause

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An Egyptian court on Tuesday banned all activities of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Egypt.

“The court has ordered the banning of Hamas work and activities in Egypt,” a judge - who asked to remain anonymous - said, according to Reuters news agency.

Hamas is a supporter of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by Egypt's army-backed government and has faced a security crackdown since the military ousted one of its leaders, Mohammad Mursi, from the presidency last July.

Hamas condemned the ruling, saying it targeted the Palestinian cause.

“The decision harms the image of Egypt and its role towards the Palestinian cause. It reflects a form of standing against Palestinian resistance,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Gaza-based militant organization said.

the Palestinian Islamist movement governing Gaza added that the decision "serves" it’s enemy Israel, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Any decision such as this is an attempt to besiege the resistance, and serves the Israeli occupation,” Bassem Naim, a senior official in Hamas said.

Egyptian authorities see Hamas a major security threat, accusing the group of supporting al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula, allegations it denies.

The court also ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt, one of the judges overseeing the case said.

The case was filed by a group of Egyptian lawyers last year asking for Hamas to be banned and be designated as a terrorist organization.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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