JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Egyptian court has taken an additional step against the Hamas terror group, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip, with a ruling banning its activities in Egypt.
"The court has ordered the banning of Hamas work and activities in Egypt," the judge reportedly told Reuters.
Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, flourished during the short term of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Following Morsi's ouster in July 2013, Egypt's interim government began cracking down on the group, accusing it of supporting terror cells in the Sinai attacking its security forces.
Over the past six months, Egypt has been destroying smuggling tunnels near the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to prevent the flow of jihadists and weaponry to terror cells in the vast desert region of the Sinai Peninsula.
It's also creating a 500-meter buffer zone with Gaza to further stifle the flow to Sinai.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the ruling.
"The decision harms the image of Egypt and its role toward the Palestinian cause," Reuters quoted Zuhri. "It reflects a form of standing against Palestinian resistance."