An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organisation.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and have repressed systematically since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
"The court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist group," said the judge of the special Cairo court which deals with urgent cases.
Egyptian officials say weapons are smuggled from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into Egypt, where they end up with militant groups fighting to topple the Western-backed Cairo government.
Islamist militants based in Egypt's Sinai region, which has a border with Gaza, have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since Mursi's political demise. The insurgency has spread to other parts of Egypt, the most populous Arab country.