Saturday, January 31, 2015

Egyptian court declares the armed wing of Hamas a ''terrorist organisation''

The Egyptian president Abdel Fatah el-Sisi held talks on Saturday with SCAF, the Supreme Command of the Egyptian army regarding the recent attacks in the Sinai.  It was decided to form a special army unit to combart terrorism, under the copmmand of Chief of Staf Osama Rushdi, who was promoted to the rank of  lieutenant-general. On the photo (from SCAF's Facebookpage) those prsent hold a moment of  silence for the 31 victims of the attacks.The attacks were the work of the Islamists of what was formerly called Bayt al-Maqdis, but El-Sisi blamed them on the Muslim Brotherhood.

A Cairo court on Saturday declared Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, a terrorist organisation.
The case was brought against the group by a private plaintiff who accused the organisation of involvement in and financing of terrorist attacks inside Egypt, and of attacking army and police personnel to destabilise the country.
The court in its verdict said that papers provided by the plaintiff proved that the group were implicated in bombings in Egypt, and that the brigade's recent planning and financing of terrorist attacks show that Al-Qassam brigades and Hamas have swayed from their original cause of fighting the Israeli occupation. The court added that the group's aim is now to target Egypt's security.
The verdict by the Cairo Court of Urgent Matters stipulates that members of the group in Egypt will be labelled a "terrorist element".

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejects the verdict and objects to the bringing of Al-Qassam Brigades into Egyptian domestic affairs. Abu Zuhri, writing on his official Facebook page, said this "dangerous" verdict only "serves the Israeli occupation."

Reuters News Agency quotes a source close to Hamas' armed wing who said that the group would no longer accept Egypt as a broker between it and Israel. "After the court's decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters," the source told Reuters. Cairo has for many years played a central role in engineering ceasefires between Israel and Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, including a truce reached between the sides in August that ended a 50-day Gaza war.

Egyptian officials say that weapons are smuggled from Gaza into Egypt where they end up with militant groups which have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since Mursi's political demise, like the attakcs on Thuirsday rthat kileld 31 men,  most soldiers and police officers. Egyptian officials say the Brotherhood, Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Sinai Province, previously called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, share the same ideology. The Muslim Brotherhood organisation was declared a terrorist organisation by an Egyptian court last year.

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