Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated outside Egypt's diplomatic mission in Gaza City Friday, to protest a Cairo court ruling designating Hamas's armed wing as a terrorist group.
They waved green Hamas flags and chanted in support of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades: "Qassam are the pride of the nation, not terrorists!"
In a sign of worsening relations between the Islamist movement and the Egyptian government, the Egyptian court banned the Brigades Saturday and declared it a terrorist group.
Egypt accuses Hamas of supporting jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Gaza Strip, after the killing of scores of security forces in a wave of attacks.
"We call on the Egyptian authorities to overturn this oppressive ruling," senior Hamas figure Salah al-Bardawil told journalists at the rally.
"Those who seek to undermine Egypt's security in Sinai are its enemies, and not Hamas or Qassam," he said.
"The weapons of the Palestinian resistance remain pointed towards the Zionist enemy (Israel), and we will not dirty our hands with Arab blood."
In early January, Egypt began work on doubling the width of a buffer zone along the border with Gaza to prevent militants infiltrating from the enclave.
The buffer zone was created following a suicide bombing on October 24 last year that killed 30 Egyptian soldiers and wounded scores.