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Is Egypt Safe Enough For You?

Egypt Says No to Hamas

A court ruling announced early this morning that any activities related or funded by the Palestinian organisation are unlawful.

Hamas is the latest organisation to join Egypt's official growing list of banned entities. On Tuesday an Egyptian court banned all Hamas' activities in Egypt. This news is just the latest in a string of decisions that aim to weed out all terrorists out of Egypt and specifically Sinai. The ban also extends to organisations or groups branching from, financed or supported by Hamas.

"The court has ordered the banning of Hamas work and activities in Egypt," the judge, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters. The new court ruling has ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt, and many speculate that Hamas officials, including Musa Abu Marzouk that resides in Cairo, may soon be facing arrests. However, a Hamas official told Ahram Online that: "Hamas has neither activities nor official offices in Egypt, whether before, during or after the [2011 revolution]."

Egyptian authorities have long considered Hamas as a major security threat, believing that the group is supporting al-Qaeda inspired Islamist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula. Obviously, as one could guess Hamas has denied the allegations, but their denial holds no weight in Egypt as authorities claim that during Morsi's reign, Hamas was summoned and held a secretive internal election in Egypt in 2012.

This decision is essentially a sign of times to come, as Egypt is still reeling to prove that it is a safe destination for tourists, especially after the recent attack on a tourist bus in Sinai. Just last week an Egyptian court sentenced 26 people to death for being part of a “terror group” that was planning an attack on ships in the Suez Canal. The sentence was handed down a day after the new Prime Minister designate, Ibrahim Mahlab, vowed he would "crush terrorism in all the corners of the country".

There is no telling if this new offensive working, but few disagree that action is required. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to ever know what evidence is being presented to deem citizens or groups as terrorists. Meanwhile, news has emerged that Hamas are prosecuting their former spokesperson Ayman Taha for allegedly spying on Egypt.

Keep your eye out. we here at CairoScene are hedging a bet that this ruling may inspire a new episode of everyone’s favourite Hamas produced puppet show entitled Tomorrow's Pioneers