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Egypt’s Government Appeals Court Decision Declaring Palestinian Hamas A Terrorist Organization

Egypt’s Government Appeals Court Decision Declaring Palestinian Hamas A Terrorist Organization

Palestinians wave Hamas flags as they take part in a rally calling on Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah border crossing, at the crossing in the southern Gaza Strip February 28, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The Cairo Court of Appeals will look into an appeal to an earlier court ruling declaring the Palestinian group Hamas as a “terrorist” organisation in a session on March 28, it announced on Wednesday.

The verdict was appealed by the State Litigation Authority, which represents the Egyptian government.

Hamas welcomed the appeal in statements released on Twitter.

A court of urgent matters had declared the group as a “terrorist” organisation on February 28.

In the details of its ruling, the court accused Hamas of targeting civilians, policemen and military men inside Egypt in attacks it carried out in support of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

In response to the appeal, Hamas said it recognises that “an error was committed against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause.”

“We hope this step leads to correcting this error,” Hamas said, adding that such a step would contribute to “improving relations between the two sides.”

Egypt has banned the activities of Hamas, which governs the Palestinian Gaza Strip, as per a court ruling issued in March 2014 and ordered the closure of all its offices nationwide.

Militants have escalated attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, which came after mass protests against his rule.

Egyptian authorities have been accusing Hamas, a strong ally of Mursi’s regime, of supporting militant attacks which target security forces. Hamas has repeatedly denied the accusations.

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Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

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