Egypt court strikes down islands deal in blow to president

An Egyptian court on Monday ruled against the government's attempt to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, an embarrassment for President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that could deepen tensions with his onetime Gulf patron.

The decision to transfer the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir, announced alongside a Saudi aid package last year, fueled accusations of a sell-off and sparked the largest protests of el-Sissi's two-and-a-half-year rule.

The deal was signed last April during a visit by Saudi King Salman, who announced billions of dollars in Saudi loans and investment. The government insists the islands always belonged to Saudi Arabia and were merely placed...