Thousands of Gazans demonstrated on Thursday night at the border between Gaza and Egypt, in protest against a decision by an Egyptian court to define the Al-Qassam Brigades – the "military wing" of Hamas – as a terror organization.
Palestine newspaper, the official mouthpiece of Hamas, says that protesters gathered near the Rafah crossing and waved Hamas flags, shouted slogans against the Egyptian court's decision and demanded that Egypt open the border with Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a speech at the demonstration that the Egyptian court's decision is "a real disaster because it turns the tables and sees the occupiers [Israel – ed.] as a friend and the Palestinian people as a foe."
He called the Egyptian judges and members of the media in Egypt a "pro-Zionist group," which harms Gaza from afar through their actions and via the Egyptian army.
While the Egyptian government of Islamist Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is a Gazan offshoot, was friendly with Hamas, the military-led government that ousted him has cracked down on the group, which it accuses of an attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and of planning church bombings in Sinai.
Most recently, Egypt accused Hamas of providing the weapons used by terrorists for two lethal attacks in El-Arish in October, in which dozens of soldiers were killed.
Egypt declared a state of emergency in the Sinai following that attack and began to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, expelling thousands of residents and demolishing hundreds of homes.
Hamas has been particularly indignant over the blacklisting announcement, however, and another official stated earlier this week that calling Hamas a "terror group" is "rewriting history."