A senior Hamas official on Sunday slammed a decision by an Egyptian court to brand Hamas’s “military wing” a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, the group’s spokesman toned down Hamas’s initial response to the move, in which it said that Hamas no longer viewed Egypt as a mediator between the group and Israel.
Mousa Abu Marzouk said that the Egyptian ruling against the Al-Qassam Brigades “is a coup against the history, ethics of Egypt and its principles,” reported the Alresalah news website.
"History recorded the Qassam Brigades has always been civilized in dealing with Egyptian intelligence … Is it today a terrorist organization?" Abu Marzouk reportedly wrote on Facebook.
“In a move, the first of its kind, Cairo Court for Urgent Matters, considers the Qassam Brigades as a terrorist organization; for the first time in the Arab and Muslim world, alongside with most countries in the world except for Israel and its supporters in the West, the Palestinian resistance has been condemned," he continued.
Abu Marzouk further said he considered the ruling "a coup against the history, the rights of the Palestinian, Egypt and its principles that we know."
"Most of the countries of the world, especially the Arab and Muslim world, stand next to the resistance, and this is what we expect from Egypt, which has suffered from the terrorism of the Zionist entity! Israel has targeted the Egyptian civilians in the cities of the Suez Canal, and killed thousands of Egyptian soldiers, including hundreds of prisoners in Sinai,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri toned down comments originally attributed to sources close to Hamas, who had reportedly said the group would no longer accept Egypt as a broker between it and Israel due to the court’s ruling.
Abu Zuhri, according to Alresalah, said the comments were “fully incorrect.”
The Egyptian court’s decision to blacklist Hamas comes as no surprise. While the government of Islamist Mohammed Morsi was friendly with Hamas, the military-led government that ousted him has cracked down on the group, which it accuses of an attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and of planning church bombings in Sinai.
Most recently, Egypt accused Hamas of providing the weapons used by terrorists for two lethal attacks in El-Arish in October, in which dozens of soldiers were killed.
Egypt declared a state of emergency in the Sinai following that attack and began to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza.