CAIRO, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- An Egyptian court declared the Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, a ruling aligned with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's crackdown on Islamist groups.
Hamas, a sister organization to the Muslim Brotherhood, controls the Gaza Strip. Following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, the organization was declared a terrorist group last year.
Hamas leaders called the decision by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters "shocking and dangerous" and accused the court of "targeting the Palestinian people and its factions of resistance." Last month, the same court ruled Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, a terror group.
The United States, Japan and Canada, among other countries, also list Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Local authorities said the ruling on Saturday may have broad consequences for relations between Cairo and Hamas. Egypt is considered an important intermediary between Israel and Hamas. Militant activity has been on the rise in Egypt since Morsi was removed from office. On Tuesday, Sisi issued a new law that gives a broad definition to terrorist entities under the government's campaign to fight terrorism. Government leaders will create a list of terrorist groups and individuals.