Hamas Rallies Against Egyptian Ban

Published: 08th March 2014 12:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2014 12:26 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Hundreds of Hamas supporters and leaders demonstrated in Gaza Friday against the order of an Egyptian court banning the Islamist movement's activities and seizure of its headquarters in Cairo.

Waving green Hamas flags and also holding Egyptian flags, the angry crowds gathered outside a once diplomatic representative office of Egypt in Gaza, which was closed after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Xinhua reported.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas leader told the rally "the decision of the court is unsuccessful and we call on the people of Egypt and the leadership to immediately withdraw it".

"The decision of the court to ban the movement looks judiciary in its shape, but in its depth it is completely political. This decision encourages the Zionist occupation (Israel) to wage a large aggression on Gaza," said al-Hayya.

After the Egyptian army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in early July, relations with Hamas deteriorated after the latter showed support to Morsi and called the change in Egypt "an illegal coup".

The new Egyptian leadership accused Hamas of intervening in Egypt's internal affairs. Hamas has repeatedly denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian army destroyed smuggling tunnels dug underneath the borders with the Gaza Strip to defy an Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave.

Egypt had also kept the Rafah border crossing point closed. Hamas officials said that since the beginning of 2014, the crossing only opened for nine days.

An Egyptian court Tuesday decided to ban all activities of the Palestinian Hamas movement and confiscate its headquarters in Cairo.

A lawsuit was filed against the movement to ban its activities and designate it as a terrorist group after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted last July.

Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and is well known for its support to the group from which Morsi hails.

More than 60 members of the group are facing trial on jailbreak charges, along with Morsi and other top leaders of the Brotherhood.

They are accused of storming three prisons, killing policemen and helping hundreds, including terrorists, to flee during the early days of the 2011 revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

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