Egyptians celebrate after 'cancellation' of Saudi Island deal
The agreement, announced in April during a state visit to Egypt by King Salman, saw Cairo hand over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Riyadh.
The deal, ruled the court, violates the constitution - which prohibits the transfer of any Egyptian territory, and requires a referendum on matters relating to state sovereignty.
Hours later, the Egyptian government appealed the court ruling.
"The court ruling is historical; it voids the agreement signed by the Egyptian prime minister and confirms the Egyptian sovereignty over the two islands," said Khaled Ali, a lawyer and former Presidential candidate who had made the case against the government.
He added that if the Egyptian government appeals the verdict, it has to provide all the documents that prove Saudi Arabia's ownership of the islands.
Egyptians used the Arabic-language hash-tag #TiranAndSanafirAreEgyptian to celebrate the verdict and appealed for the release of more than 150 people who were sentenced to jail in mid-May for their roles in protests against the decision.
|Egyptians used the Arabic-language hash-tag #TiranAndSanafirAreEgyptian to celebrate the verdict and appealed for the release of more than 150 people who were sentenced to jail in mid-May for their roles in protests against the decision|
"Does that mean they’re going to arrest the person who did the ruling?” said an Egyptian going by the name of "Taher".
"The historic State Council ruling is an important step on the road to preserving the land and rights… but the road is still long #FreedomForLandDetainees," said politician Shadi al-Ghazali Harb on twitter.
"#TiranAndSanafirAreEgyptian Free the detainees! Free the young people who stood for what is right you traitors! Freedom for Haitham Mohammadeen, freedom for Malek Adly.. freedom to all detainees," he said, referring to two activists who were against the Islands deal.
Following the verdict, a Cairo Misdemeanor court acquitted 22 protesters on Wednesday who were arrested for demonstrating against the Islands Deal.
The demonstrators had been charged with illegal protesting and obstructing a public road.