Hamas says Egypt no longer a viable mediator with Israel

A Palestinian boy wearing a military costume arrives at a military-style graduation ceremony for Palestinian youths who were trained at one of the Hamas-run Liberation Camps, in Gaza City on Thursday. Suhaib Salem/Reuters. Story here.

A source close to Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said Saturday the group no longer recognizes Egypt as a broker with Israel, following an Egyptian court’s decision to label the group a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Egypt announced plans for a unified task force to combat militants in the Sinai peninsula as its president vowed a long and difficult battle against terrorism.

“After the court’s decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters,” a Hamas source told Reuters on Saturday, hours after the court’s ruling. Cairo has long been a go-between for both parties and has played a pivotal role in brokering a number of ceasefires in Gaza, including at the end of last summer’s war.

Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s former prime minister in the Gaza Strip, lambasted Cairo over the announcement, saying “you [Egyptians] have lost your sense of justice”…