Egypt has banned the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from working in the country.
A Cairo court ordered its offices to be shut down and any dealings with the group suspended.
The case was filed by a group of Egyptian lawyers who also wanted Hamas declared a terrorist organisation which the court said it didn’t have the power to do.
“The court has ordered that Hamas offices in the country be shut down and all dealings with the group suspended. The consequence of this verdict is that all Hamas members in the country are now illegal and should be arrested, “ said one of the lawyers, Samir Sabry, outside the Cairo court.
Egypt’s interim government claims Hamas is behind the insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Gaza and Israel.
Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, condemned the decision
“This is an unacceptable decision that reflects a link between the Egyptian decision makers and the Israeli position. We consider such decisions first of all harm Egypt’s reputation and standing, and isolate it from its real role in regards to the Palestinian cause.”
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt’s army-backed government has cracked down on since ousting its leader Mohammed Morsi from being president last year.