Hamas welcomes Cairo court verdict annulling terrorist designation verdict

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Jun 2015

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri says the overturning of "a previous mistake" will strengthen relations between the group and Cairo

Sami Abu-Zuhri
Sami Abu-Zuhri, a spokesman for the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas (Photo: Reuters)

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has welcomed the overturning of a verdict designating them a terrorist organisation by a Cairo court, saying in a statement released Saturday that the ruling is "a correction of a previous mistake."

The Appeal Court for Urgent Matters said Saturday that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to issue its original verdict.

On 28 February, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters ruled Hamas a terrorist organisation, a month after the group's military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, was also designated a terror group by the same court.

Hamas has been the de-facto ruler of the Israeli Gaza Strip since 2006 after winning parliamentary elections.

Relations between Cairo and Hamas have soured since the ouster of Hamas's Islamist ally Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Cairo has accused Hamas of supporting militant groups which are waging an insurgency against the government in the Sinai peninsula.

In January, a court declared Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, a terrorist organisation.

In May, Cairo Criminal Court handed preliminary death sentences to a number of Hamas members, mostly in absentia, in the trial known as the Wadi Al-Natroun jailbreak case.

The Hamas members were convicted, along with ousted president Mohamed Morsi, of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots, and releasing prisoners in 2011.

Hamas, which has repeatedly denied interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs, condemned previous verdicts against its members in Egyptian courts.

On Saturday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the ruling represents confirmation of Cairo's commitment to its Arab national duty towards the Palestinian issue.

Abu Zuhri predicted that the latest court decision will strengthen the relationship between Hamas and Cairo.

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