The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters postponed to 31 January the verdict to designate the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, as a terrorist organisation on Saturday.
The lawsuit calls for banning the group, accusing it of “participating in terrorist operations”, including the deadly truck bomb attack on Egypt’s armed forces on 24 October, which killed at least 30 soldiers.
Although the attack was claimed by militant group ‘State of Sinai’, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the lawsuit argues that Al-Qassam Brigades used the underground smuggling tunnels connecting Rafah to Gaza to enter the country and “finance its terrorist operations, smuggling weapons to attack police and army personnel, as well as terrorising civilians.”
Last November, official spokesperson of Hamas, Fawzy Barhom condemned the lawsuit, describing it as “a continuation of targeting the Palestinian resistance, and especially Al-Qassam Brigades”.
“Such regulations are similar to those taken by the Israeli enemy against the Palestinian resistance, the people of Jerusalem, and Al-Qassam Brigades,” Barhom added in a statement published on his official page.
Hamas and Israel were engaged in a 50-day long conflict during the summer of 2014, which left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, 10,000 injured, and the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure severely damaged. On the Israeli side there were 70 deaths.
Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades are designated as “terrorist” organisations by the United States.
In March 2014, a Cairo court ruled the freezing of financial assists related to Hamas, as well as the closure of its entire headquarters in the country.
There have been tensions between the Egyptian government and Hamas, as one of the charges former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi is facing is “conspiring with Hamas”.