Egypt is taking proactive steps in fighting a wave of Islamic terror within its borders. Now, it has banned the Al-Qassam Brigades.
A Cairo court declared the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, a terrorist organization on Saturday, labeling it a “terrorist element.”
A special “Urgent Matters” court ruled on a case brought against the terror organization by an unnamed private plaintiff, who accused Hamas of involvement in and financing of terrorist attacks inside Egypt and of attacking army and police personnel in order to destabilize the country.
The plaintiff submitted papers showing that the group is actively involved in terror in Egypt. According to the Ahram Arab news site, the court said that that Hamas’s recent planning and financing of terror demonstrates that the Al-Qassam brigades and Hamas have swayed from their original mission of “fighting the Israeli occupation” and that the group’s aim has changed to targeting Egypt’s security.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the terror group rejects the verdict and objects to the linking of Al-Qassam Brigades to Egyptian domestic affairs, Ahram reports.
Abu Zuhri, writing on his official Facebook page, said that this “dangerous” verdict only “serves the Israeli occupation.”
“Al-Qassam Brigades are the symbol of resistance against the Israeli occupation and a symbol of the [Palestinian] nation’s pride and dignity, despite all attempts at defamation,” the statement added.
Hamas: Egypt No Longer a Broker
“After the court’s decision, Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters,” a Hamas source told Reuters.
Cairo has served as a mediator between Israel and Hamas for many years, including engineering a truce in August 2014 to end Operation Protective Edge.
Egypt is reeling from a wave of Islamic terror.
The court decision comes just two days after a series of four Islamic terror attacks in northern Sinai on Thursday that left at least 30 people dead, mostly security personnel.
Ansar Bay Al-Maqdis, which has recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which involved the shelling of military positions and attacks with car bombs.
President Abd Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt faces a tough, prolonged campaign against terrorism. “(It) will be difficult, strong, evil and will take a long time,” he said in comments broadcast on state television after meeting top military officers, Reuters reports.
Egypt accused Hamas of involvement in the smuggling of weapons through underground tunnels into the Sinai Peninsula and of actively attacking Egyptian military targets.
The Egyptian army has launched a broad campaign to destroy the Hamas smuggling tunnels and to create a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza, destroying hundreds of Palestinian homes in the process.
By: Atara Beck, World Israel News