The Urgent Matters Court in Alexandria postponed its ruling on the lawsuit filed by lawyer Samir Sabry to designate Hamas a “terrorist organisation”.
The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters has already designated the Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas movement’s military wing, as “terrorist group” on 31 January. The group was accused of “participating in terrorist operations” and recent violence in North Sinai.
Relations between Egypt and Hamas have deteriorated since Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in June 2013. Morsi is currently standing trial on charges of espionage for Hamas. He has also been accused of escaping from Wadi El-Natrun Prison on 28 January 2011 during the opening days of the 25 January Revolution, with the help of foreigners, including members of Hamas.
On 3 February, Hamas accused Egyptian forces on the border between Gaza and Egypt of opening fire on the Palestinian side.
In March 2014, an Egyptian court banned the activities of Hamas inside Egypt and confiscated the group’s offices. Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar previously told Daily News Egypt that none of Hamas’s members are currently located in Egypt.
However, Hamas representatives came to Cairo last August as part of a cross-faction Palestinian delegation for talks on the situation in the Gaza Strip.
The talks were an attempt to secure a ceasefire between Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel during the summer’s conflict. The conflict had resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 people, and in Gaza 1,417 of those killed were civilians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Of the 67 Israeli deaths, three were civilians including one foreign national. Egypt had issued an invitation to the Palestinians and Israelis as part of a US and United Nations sponsored 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire deal.