Egypt court designates Hamas military wing a terrorist group
CAIRO (AP) — A Cairo court banned the military wing of Gaza-based group Hamas on Saturday, designating it a terrorist organization.
The lawsuit claimed the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades played a role in recent attacks against security forces in Egypt.
After a major attack in October, the Egyptian military began clearing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in an attempt to stamp out a cross-border network of tunnels that Hamas considers a lifeline.
Meanwhile ousted former President Mohammed Morsi continues to face trial for his alleged ties to Hamas and other Islamic militant groups. On Saturday, a Cairo court set May 16 for a verdict in Morsi’s conspiracy trial.
Morsi, a longtime Muslim Brotherhood official, is accused of conspiring to destabilize the country and cooperating with foreign militant groups--including Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. He is also accused of passing state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Morsi faces two other ongoing cases and a set of charges that have yet to be brought to trial.
Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, but his turbulent one-year rule left the country sharply divided. The military removed him from office in July 2013 following mass protests demanding his resignation. Since then, the government has launched a sweeping crackdown on the Brotherhood and other political opponents.