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124 items tagged "Mohammed Morsi"

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Former Egyptian President Morsi Appeals His Death Sentence

Category: News
Created on Monday, 17 August 2015 10:23
Morsi Death SentenceDeposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has filed an appeal against his two sentences of death and life in prison.
 
According to Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsud, one of Morsi's defense lawyers, told Egyptian media that the court ruling was based on flawed evidence.
 
Morsi, who represented the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected in 2012 and overthrown in the 2013 military coup. This past June he was sentenced to death for allegedly participating in violence against the police during the 2011 uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak. Morsi was also sentenced to life in prison for espionage.
 
Amnesty International called Morsi's trial "grossly unfair."
 
Current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has acted strongly against the Muslim Brotherhood. Under his rule the group, including its Palestinian branch Hamas, has been outlawed and hundreds of its members and supports have been imprisoned. Seven have been executed.

Palestinian Cleric: ISIS Will Give 'Settlements' to Muslims

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 19 July 2015 08:48
Issam AmiraMuslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, if still Egyptian president, would have conquered Israel by now, a Palestinian Arab preacher insisted on the Temple Mount earlier this month. 
 
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) revealed Sunday a clip of preacher Issam Amira lamenting the change in Egyptian regime in a July 1 sermon on the Mount. 
 
There, he insists that if Morsi would have murdered "collaborators," Egypt would "have been all the way to Zikhron Yaakov [a city just south of Haifa - ed.] by now." Morsi was ousted in 2013. 
 
"The problem is that under normal circumstances, a soldier does not take action unless he receives orders," he explained. "It is called “military hierarchy.” There is a commander, beneath whom there is a lesser officer, and so on, with the soldier at the bottom. Unless there are orders, the soldier does not act."
 
"Without orders, there can be no fighting," he continued. "If a soldier receives orders to fall back, he has no choice but to comply, or else he is court martialed and executed for disobeying a military order. Hence, the solution is to replace the commanders of the armies." 
 
"If Morsi, when he came to power, had arrested 60-70 officers from among the American collaborators in the military, and hanged them from the gallows, or even executed them in secret, and had replaced them with pure military commanders, the Egyptian army would have been all the way to Zikhron Yaakov by now," he added.
 
He then made a few predictions about Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt. 
 
"They shall destroy the Jewish entity, and all the aspects of sovereignty that they have established, but I do not think that the Islamic army will destroy everything that they have built – the settlements, the airports, and the factories," he said. "Allah willing, these will be taken as booty by the Muslims."

Egypt to Appoint Israel Ambassador, after 3 Years

Category: News
Created on Monday, 22 June 2015 11:01
Egyptian embassador to IsraelThree years after it withdrew its ambassador from Israel, when Operation Pillar of Defense was launched in Gaza, Egypt is about to send a new ambassador to its Tel Aviv embassy.
 
Hazem Hayrath, 57, who was a senior assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister until recently, was tapped as the new ambassador to Israel and will discharge his duties from the Jewish state.
 
He will replace the current ambassador, Atef Salem, who was urgently recalled to Cairo in November of 2012, just two months after his appointment, and has since been technically working as Cairo's Israel ambassador - from Cairo. Salem was recalled by then-president Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, to protest Israel's Gaza operation.
 
The formal changing of the guard is to take place in September.
 
Following the takeover by General Abdel Fattah a-Sisi in Egypt, Israel appointed a new ambassador to Cairo, Haim Koren. Since then, the countries have been discussing the return of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel.
 
The Foreign Ministry told Arutz Sheva that it is pleased with the appointment and that it hopes for fruitful cooperation with the new ambassador.

Morsi's Lawyers Appeal Jail Sentence

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 20 June 2015 09:43
Morsi Death SentenceLawyers for Egypt's deposed Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, on Thursday appealed his sentencing to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his mandate, AFP reported.
 
Morsi, who was ousted by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013, was convicted in April over the protest outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.
 
He was accused of ordering violence to be used against protesters to disperse them.
 
"We had to appeal before the time available to do so expired," defense lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP.
 
He said he had submitted the request "in his capacity as legal representative of Mr. Morsi".
 
Abdel Maqsud said he had not been able to consult his client in advance, but did say that Morsi "refuses to appeal," as he considers himself still to be president and rejects the legitimacy of his judges.
 
The Islamist former president faces several trials in Egypt. On Tuesday, a court upheld a death sentence against Morsi for plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the country's 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
 
The sentence was originally given last month, but a final ruling on it had been postponed until June 16 pending consultations with Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's highest religious authority.
 
It also sentenced Morsi to life in prison on charges of spying for the Palestinian Hamas movement, Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah and Iran.

Egyptian Court Upholds Mohammed Morsi Death Sentence

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 10:28
court upheld the death sentenceAn Egyptian court upheld the death sentence handed down to former President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday.
 
The sentence was originally given last month, but a final ruling on it had been postponed until June 16 pending consultations with Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's highest religious authority.
 
Five other leading Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood - including Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie - also had their death sentences upheld by the court.
 
In addition to the death sentence ruling, the court also confirmed a lifetime prison sentence for Morsi over charges of espionage on behalf of Hamas and other foreign terrorist groups.
 
Morsi's was sentenced to death along with dozens of others over a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising against the rule of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. 
 
In 2012, Morsi was elected president, but was deposed just one year later by yet another popular uprising, backed by the Egyptian military.
 
Egypt's current leadership, headed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, has cracked down hard on Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch - Hamas - accusing them of fomenting armed rebellions against the government, particularly in the restive Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel.

ISIS Threatens Egyptian Judges Over Morsi Sentence

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 21 May 2015 13:18
ISIS Threatens Egyptian JudgesIslamic State has threatened judges in Egypt with death after issuing a decision last week to have former president Mohammed Morsi executed. The terror group issued the threat on Thursday, just days after three Egyptian judges were killed in Sinai.
 
An audio recording on an ISIS site which was said to have been issued by the “Islamic State in Sinai” group featured what the site said was voice of group head Abu Osama al-Missri. 
 
"The Egyptian tyrants cannot jail our brother Morsi. Poison their food, follow them to their homes and neighborhoods, destroy their homes with bombs, if you can,” al-Missri said in the message.
 
An Egyptian court sentenced Morsi to death on Saturday, along with a number of other Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
 
Current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made it his mission to crack down on Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas. The cabinet designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group in December 2013, "indefinitely" closed the Rafah border crossing to Gaza, and is now building a separation barrier between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.
 
The sentence was condemned by the European Union and the U.S.
 
"The court decision to seek the death penalty... was taken at the end of a mass trial that was not in line with Egypt's obligations under international law," the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said in a statement. "The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances. The death penalty is cruel and inhumane."
 
The United States also expressed alarm Sunday at the death sentences, saying it has "consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences.”
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday night blasted Egypt for the death sentence, saying it meant that "Egypt is turning back into ancient Egypt. The West, unfortunately, is still turning a blind eye to Sisi's coup."

EU Denounces Morsi Death Sentence

Category: News
Created on Monday, 18 May 2015 09:43
Morsi Death SentenceThe European Union (EU) on Sunday denounced the death sentence handed down to Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi and at least 100 others, noting the penalty stemmed from a flawed trial, according to AFP.
 
"The court decision to seek the death penalty... was taken at the end of a mass trial that was not in line with Egypt's obligations under international law," the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
 
She added that Egypt has to guarantee defendants' rights to a fair trial and to an independent investigation, nothing the EU believes the sentence will be revised upon appeal.
 
"The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances," Mogherini said. "The death penalty is cruel and inhumane."
 
The United States also expressed alarm Sunday at the death sentences, saying it has "consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences".
 
Morsi was among more than 100 defendants ordered by a court on Saturday to face the death penalty for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday night blasted Egypt for the death sentence, saying it meant that "Egypt is turning back into ancient Egypt.”
 
"The West, unfortunately, is still turning a blind eye to Sisi's coup," he continued, referring to current President and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president after winning elections last year.

Erdogan Condemns Egypt Over Morsi Death Sentence

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 17 May 2015 10:17
Erdogan R Mohamed Mursi  AFPTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday night blasted Egypt for sentencing ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death, AFP reported.
 
"The popularly elected president of Egypt, chosen with 52 percent of the vote, has unfortunately been sentenced to death," he said at a rally in Istanbul, to howls of protest from the crowd.
 
"Egypt is turning back into ancient Egypt," Erdogan charged, referring to the old Pharaonic rule of the land that ended over two millennia ago.
 
"The West, unfortunately, is still turning a blind eye to Sisi's coup," he continued, referring to current President and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president after winning elections last year.
 
"While they (the West) abolished the death penalty in their own countries, they just look on as spectators at this execution in Egypt," charged Erdogan, according to AFP.
 
Erdogan, at the time Turkey’s Prime Minister, was a strong supporter of the Islamist Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, after Morsi won the 2012 elections.
 
He later condemned the military intervention that toppled Morsi as a “coup” and an enemy of democracy. Egypt’s foreign ministry  responded to Erdogan’s crticism by summoning Turkey’s ambassador to Cairo in protest against “Ankara’s interference in Egyptian affairs.”
 
Erdogan has continued to attack Sisi since his election, including last summer when Egypt was trying to broker a ceasefire between Egypt and Hamas.
 
Erdogan said at the time that Sisi was an “illegitimate tyrant” and added Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel.

Morsi Sentenced to 20 Years

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 25 April 2015 12:57
Bihand barsA Cairo court has sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison.
 
Morsi was convicted of inciting the killing of protesters, in an incident that saw 10 people gunned down outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
The court had acquitted the former president of murder charges, which could have sent him to the gallows.
 
Morsi also faces serious charges in three other cases, including an accusation that he passed intelligence to a foreign country.
 
Egyptian journalist, Yehia Ghanem, told Al Jazeera Tuesday the Egyptian government was sending a message that it would not tolerate any opposition.
 
"The whole thing was calculated politically from the start. It sends a message to Egyptians and the rest of the world that there's no future for any civil rule," Ghanem said.

Former Morsi Aide Jailed for Three Years

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 12:17
behind barsA Cairo criminal court on Wednesday jailed deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi's former chief of staff for three years, after he was convicted of abusing his powers, AFP reported.
 
The man, Refaa al-Tahtawi had been charged with hiring someone banned from public service, a court official said.
 
Tahtawi had given a job to a man convicted of belonging to a terrorist group and of setting fire to several video clubs in the capital.
 
The man, who had been sentenced in the 1990s to 15 years in prison, was himself jailed for a year on Wednesday for having accepted the appointment.
 
Since the Egyptian army ousted Morsi, there has been a crackdown on Brotherhood supporters in the country.
 
Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death in recent months, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.
 
Morsi is on several trials in Egypt and is charged with, among other things, endangering national security, inciting the killings of opposition protesters and working with Lebanese and Palestinian Arab groups to carry out terror attacks in Egypt.

'I'm Still Egypt's President', Insists Morsi as New Trial Begins

Category: News
Created on Monday, 16 February 2015 13:28
Mohammed Morsi in courtFormer Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was on Sunday placed on trial on charges of endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar, but he once again declared that he does not recognize the court’s authority.
 
Morsi, who was toppled by the army in 2013 after mass protests against his rule, insisted that he was still Egypt’s legitimate president, Reuters reported from Cairo.
 
“This court does not represent anything to me,” declared Morsi, who was on trial with 10 other people. The maximum penalty if he is convicted is death.
 
The former Islamist president is facing several trials in Egypt.  In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
In yet another one he is accused, along with 35 others, of working with Lebanese and Palestinian Arab groups to carry out terror attacks in Egypt.
 
The trial which began Sunday revolves around allegations that Morsi leaked secret documents to Qatar and its satellite news channel Al Jazeera.
 
Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, has been called "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years and is often referred to as the “Arab Spring.” 
 
Relations between Qatar and Egypt have been icy since July 2013 when the army overthrew Morsi and launched a security crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Lately, however, Qatar and Egypt have been trying to restore their ties. In December, Qatar declared its support for Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, despite his crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Sisi later met with an envoy from the Gulf emirate, and Al-Jazeera also shut down its Egypt channel, quieting a major source of tension between the two countries.

In Court, Morsi Launches Tirade Against Successor Sisi

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 17:29
Bihand barsOusted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi on Sunday testified for the first time in his espionage trial, and launched a tirade against his successor whom he accused of removing him in a "coup", AFP reported.
 
Morsi was toppled by former army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013 after mass protests demanding the Islamist's resignation after just one year in office.
 
Appearing in a caged dock and dressed in white prison uniform, Morsi was fired up as he presented his own defense for the trial in which he stands accused of espionage along with 35 other people.
 
"I am the president, and I have not been stripped off this title," Morsi said during his two-hour appearance in which he attacked Sisi several times without mentioning him by name.
 
"On 3 July (2013), I was surprised by military chiefs suspending the constitution and toppling the president: if this is not a coup, then what is?" said the Muslim Brotherhood member, whose ouster was followed by a relentless crackdown on his supporters that left hundreds dead.
 
Morsi also brushed off the authority of the court.
 
"This court has no jurisdiction over me according to the law and the constitution. Gentlemen, you are not my judges and this is not my court," he told the three-member panel, according to AFP.
 
Morsi accused Sisi of killing some of the roughly 800 protesters during the 2011 revolt that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak.
 
He said that during his presidency investigators had recorded statements from hotel managers overlooking Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 2011 protests, that "armed personnel from the entity headed by the leader of the coup (Sisi)" had shot demonstrators during the anti-Mubarak uprising.
 
At the time, Sisi served as the chief of military intelligence.
 
The espionage trial, in which prosecutors have asked for the death sentence, is one of several against the former Islamist president. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
More recently, Egypt charged the ousted president and several other people with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar.

Egyptian Prosecutors Ask for Death Sentence for Morsi

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 10:22
Mohamed Mursi - ReutersEgypt's state news agency reported on Wednesday that prosecutors have asked for the death sentence for ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on trial on espionage charges.
 
According to The Associated Press (AP), prosecutor Emad el-Sharawy said in closing remarks that Morsi and his aides leaked state security documents to foreign intelligence agencies, namely Iran, while in office for one year.
 
The military removed Morsi from office in July 2013 following mass protests against him accusing him and the Brotherhood of monopolizing power.
 
El-Sharawy said the defendants, who include Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and 34 others, cooperated with terrorist groups, including Gaza's Hamas, to destabilize Egypt.
 
Morsi told the court he refused its jurisdiction. He asked to defend himself in upcoming sessions, according to AP. The case resumes on November 26 for closing defense remarks.
 
The trial in question is one of several against the Islamist former president. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
More recently, Egypt charged the ousted president and several other people with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar.

Egypt Charges Morsi With Endangering National Security

Category: News
Created on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:30
Egypts President-elect Mohammed MursiEgypt on Saturday charged ousted president Mohammed Morsi and several other people with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar, Reuters reported.
 
Security sources had said last month that Egypt was investigating the ousted Muslim Brotherhood president in connection with documents they said were leaked to Qatar and its satellite news channel Al Jazeera.
 
The Cairo public prosecutor's office said on Saturday its secret investigation had unearthed enough evidence of espionage to charge Morsi in a criminal court.
 
"The inquiries... exposed humiliating facts and the extent of the largest conspiracy and treason carried out by the terrorist Brotherhood organization against the nation through a network of spies," it said in a lengthy statement quoted by Reuters.
 
The statement said Morsi and two of his top secretaries abused their positions to slip documents from Egypt's security agencies to Qatari intelligence and Al Jazeera.
 
It said some of those documents exposed the location of and weapons held by the Egyptian armed forces and detailed the country's foreign and domestic policies.
 
Morsi is currently on trial in several cases. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
In another trial, Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, are accused of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, has been called "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years and is often referred to as the “Arab Spring.” 
 
The governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates recently withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, in protest over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt.

Egypt Investigating Morsi for Handing Over Documents to Qatar

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 28 August 2014 15:24
First day in trialEgypt has opened an investigation into deposed president Mohammed Morsi for allegedly handing over to Qatar "documents relevant to national security," AFP reported on Wednesday, citing Egypt’s state news agency MENA.
 
Morsi is already facing the death penalty in several trials and his supporters have been the target of a bloody crackdown by the authorities that has left more than 1,400 dead since he was ousted by the military in July last year.
 
The former leader is suspected of providing "documents relevant to national security to Qatar via the Qatari Al-Jazeera chain when he was president of the republic (...), damaging the country's national security", said MENA.
 
Morsi is currently on trial in several cases. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
In another trial, Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, are accused of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
In March, Egypt's interior minister accused Morsi's secretary Amin El-Serafi of having delivered documents regarding the army, its armaments and the deployment of its troops to a chief editor of Al-Jazeera and member of the Islamist president's Muslim Brotherhood. The movement was listed as a terrorist group after Morsi's overthrow.
 
Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, has been called "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years and is often referred to as the “Arab Spring.” 
 
The governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates recently withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, in protest over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt.
 
There have been several high-profile calls to stop Qatar from hosting the World Cup in 2022 until it ceases its funding of terrorism, including by Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.

Clashes in Cairo as Morsi Supporters Riot

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 05:41
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a protest in CairoThree people were killed in Cairo on Friday as supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi held scattered protests for a second straight day, according to AFP.
 
Clashes erupted at one protest between Morsi supporters and local residents. Two people were killed in the fighting and four police were wounded as they tried to disperse the crowd in the Giza district, according to security officials.
 
At another protest in Giza, demonstrators fired birdshot, set off fireworks and tried to block a road. One protester was killed when police moved in to disperse the group, a statement from the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police said, adding that the man was armed.
 
In a third incident, protesters torched a public bus in a Cairo suburb after forcing the driver and passengers out. Police arrested at least 14 protesters at the events, the security officials told AFP.
 
The violence came one day after the anniversary of the forceful dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed. Clashes at small, scattered demonstrations on Thursday left four people dead, the Health Ministry said.
 
Morsi supporters have held regular demonstrations since the military overthrew him last summer amid massive protests against his year in power. Their numbers, however, have dwindled in the face of a massive crackdown that has seen hundreds of protesters killed in street clashes and tens of thousands detained.
 
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement was listed as a terrorist group after his overthrow last July 3 and many of its leaders, including Morsi himself, have been jailed.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, was sentenced to death on June 19 but the country’s top religious authority rejected the death sentence. He has been asked by a court to reconsider.

Egypt to Strip 13,800 Palestinians of Citizenship

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 23:04
Egyptian newspaper Alyoum Alsaba has reported that Egyptian security forces intend to take away the citizen status of 13,757 Palestinians because of their support for Hamas. The report is quoted by Israeli daily Maariv.
 
Gaza Arab TerroristsThe Palestinians affected by the move received citizenship during the year in which Islamist Mohammed Morsi was in power. It comes after an Egyptian court decided Tuesday to declare Hamas a terrorist organization and to seize the group's assets and funds in Egypt.
 
The Cairo court banned Hamas's activity. It ordered the organization's institutions in Egypt shut down immediately and their assets seized. The decision followed reports of Hamas's involvement in the wave of terrorism that has plagued the country since the Muslim Brotherhood government headed by Morsi was ousted from power.
 
The court decision requires government approval, but Egyptian media said that it had been made at the request of temporary president Adli Mansour, as well as the prime minister and minister of the interior.
 
Hamas denied the accusations against it and the court verdict. “This is a dangerous precedent that will have negative implications,” said a member of the group's political leadership, Izet Alrashek. “This will give legitimacy to the continuation of the unjustified siege of the Gaza Strip and encourage the Zionost enemy to carry out further attacks in Gaza,” he said, adding that it “grants support to the enemies of the Palestinian people and to its right of resistance.”

Morsi Accused of Leaking Secrets to Iran

Category: News
Created on Friday, 07 March 2014 16:40
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Cairo AFPProsecutors in Egypt on Sunday accused deposed president Mohammed Morsi of leaking state secrets to Iran's Revolutionary Guards as part of a plot to destabilize Egypt, AFP reported.
 
The accusations came at the second hearing of the former Islamist president’s trial for espionage.
 
The trial, one of three that are under way against Morsi, is part of a relentless government crackdown targeting him and his Muslim Brotherhood movement since his ouster by the army in July.
 
Prosecutors accuse Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
On Sunday, the second hearing since the trial opened on February 16, they detailed the charges against Morsi and his co-defendants.
 
They were specifically accused of "delivering to a foreign country ... national defense secrets and providing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards with security reports in order to destabilize the security and stability of the country," according to AFP.
 
The statement read in court did not identify the "foreign country", the report noted, but prosecutors said Morsi and the defendants carried out espionage activities on behalf of the "international Muslim Brotherhood organization and Hamas with an aim to perpetrate terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state" from 2005 to August 2013.
 
During Morsi's one year presidency, ties flourished between Cairo and Hamas, the offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which rules neighboring Gaza.
 
At Sunday's hearing Morsi was held separately in a soundproof glass cage, designed to keep him and the other defendants from interrupting the proceedings with outbursts.
 
This, however, did not stop defendants, including Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie, his deputy Khairat al-Shater and other Islamist leaders from shouting and rejecting the accusations against them.
 
The defendants were represented by a new team of 10 defense lawyers appointed by the lawyers' union, to replace the original team that withdrew from the case, noted AFP.
 
The trial was adjourned to February 27.
 
This trial is only the tip of the iceberg for Morsi, who faces a total of four trials against him. Two of his other trials have already begun: the first, which started in November, holds him responsible for killing protestors outside the Presidential Palace in 2012; the second, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
This trial is seen as another step in Egypt’s crackdown not only on the Muslim Brotherhood but also on Hamas.
 
While Morsi’s government was friendly with Hamas, the military-led government that ousted him has cracked down on the group, which it accuses of a December attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and planning church bombings in Sinai last Christmas.
 
Last week, Egyptian border forces destroyed 10 tunnels and seven homes in the Sinai, as part of a new campaign to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza that would extend 500 meters in some places.

Egypt: Gunmen Murder Police Guard of Morsi Judge

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 08:54
Supporters and opponents of Morsi clash in Alexandria - AFPGunmen on Friday killed an Egyptian policeman who was on a security team guarding the home of a judge in the jailbreak trial of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, security officials told AFP.
 
Attacks on Egypt’s security forces have surged since the army ousted the Islamist Morsi last July, and as the military-installed authorities press a deadly crackdown on his supporters.
 
Sergeant Abdallah Metwally was shot dead as he rode his motorbike across a bridge over the Nile in the city of Mansoura north of Cairo, according to AFP.
 
The attack on Metwally, who was wearing plain clothes, was carried out by assailants who were also on a motorbike, at about 7:30 a.m. local time, Brigadier General El-Saeed Omara of Mansoura police told the news agency.
 
His killing comes with an appeal court on Saturday set to examine a defense request to appoint a new panel of judges in Morsi's jailbreak trial.
 
Morsi and 130 other defendants, including Palestinian Arab and Lebanese militants, are charged with organizing jailbreaks and attacking police stations during the 2011 revolt against former President Hosni Mubarak.
 
The case, one of three already opened against Morsi, is part of a relentless government crackdown targeting him and his Muslim Brotherhood movement since his ouster.
 
Earlier this week, prosecutors in one of Morsi’s trials accused the deposed president of leaking state secrets to Iran's Revolutionary Guards as part of a plot to destabilize Egypt.
 
The accusations came at the second hearing of the former Islamist president’s trial for espionage.
 
Prosecutors accuse Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
Mansoura, in the Nile Delta, where Friday’s killing took place, was the site of a deadly car bombing in December when the city's police headquarters was attacked, killing 15 people, mostly policemen.
 
That bombing resulted in the Brotherhood being  designated as a terrorist organization by the army-led government.
 
The Mansoura bombing was the deadliest since Morsi's overthrow outside the Sinai Peninsula, where terrorists have killed scores of police and soldiers. While most of the attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda inspire Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, interim Egyptian authorities have long claimed a link between the Brotherhood and the string of bloody attacks that followed Morsi’s ouster.
 
The Brotherhood, for its part, has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt. 

Mohammed Morsi Stands Trial in Egypt for Conspiracy

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014 18:49
U.S. urges Mursi to repudiate anti-Semitic remarksFormer Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi stood trial in Cairo for the third time since he was toppled Sunday - this time, on terror and spying charges, according to BBC News. 
 
Morsi is on trial with 35 others accused of working with Lebanese and Palestinian Arab groups to carry out terror attacks in Egypt. The trial is yet another step in the country's crackdown on activity by the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's party, which Egypt declared a terror group in December. 
 
Security around the courtroom was tightened as the court session loomed, according to Al-Ahram, with dozens of police vehicles and security checkpoints surrounding the building. 
 
But the main hindrance to the trial proved to be not Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but the defense itself - which walked out of the courtroom in protest just after the trial began after Morsi and the other defendants were placed in a soundproof glass partition some compared to a cage.
 
The defendants claimed that they could not hear the proceedings during the trial, according to BBC News, due to the arrangement; the prosecution insisted that headphones placed inside the glass area allowed them to follow the trial.
 
However, that was not enough for the defense, who stormed out of the courtroom anyway, citing other civil rights violations, including the claim that Morsi was not allowed to see his family nor his lawyer before the trial, according to CNN.
 
It is unclear why the defense has decided to walk out now over the partition, which was also present at a different trial against Morsi in January.  
 
Egypt: Cracking Down on Terrorism - at Home and Abroad
 
According to Al-Ahram, the trial not only accused Morsi of working with the Muslim Brotherhood, but expanded into an international fight on terrorism. The defendants included Lebanese men, who were accused of working with Hezbollah, and Palestinian Arabs, who were accused of working with Hamas to attack targets in the Sinai desert.
 
Of the 35, 19 are reportedly already behind bars; the remaining 17 have arrest warrants issued against them. Some of the defendants implicated in terror include Morsi's presidential aides, including former national security advisor Essam El-Hadad. 
 
For all, the charges are severe; the prosecution accused each of them of acting "with the purpose of terrorizing the Egyptian people, stirring chaos, infringing upon the independence of the country and its territorial integrity as well as the unity of the people, and foaming sectarian sedition with the aim of igniting civil war in Egypt," according to CNN. 
 
This is only the tip of the iceberg for Morsi, who face a total of four legal trials against him, BBC News notes. Besides for Sunday's conspiracy trial, two other trials have begun: the first, which began in November, holds him responsible for killing protestors outside the Presidential Palace in 2012; the second, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
Sunday's trial signifies yet another step by Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's homegrown terrorism - and against external terror, particularly in the Sinai Desert. The targets there include Hamas, with which Morsi's government was friendly, and which the current government accuses of a December attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and planning church bombings in Sinai last Christmas.
 
Hamas has denied the Egyptian government’s allegations, claiming they were an “attempt to demonize Hamas”.
 
In addition, Egypt has been clamping down on the smuggling tunnels which are used to smuggle goods, arms and terrorists between Gaza and the Sinai. A report Saturday surfaced claiming that the government is creating a "buffer zone" between Egypt and Gaza to prevent more Hamas-led terror from infiltrating Egypt through Rafah. 

Morsi's Third Trial to Begin January 28

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 16:03
Mohammed Morsi in jialAn Egyptian judge said on Thursday that January 28 has been set as opening day for the third trial of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
 
The ousted president faces several trials, and this one is related to charges of organizing prison breaks with the help of foreign groups.
 
Judge Medhat Idriss said the Cairo Appeals Court set the date Thursday. The charges for the third trial were announced in late December.
 
The jailbreaks took place during the January 2011 uprising against Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
 
Morsi was jailed in Cairo at the time and escaped with more than 30 others, while more than 20,000 inmates escaped from prisons across Egypt, including members of Hezbollah and Hamas.
 
Prosecutors claim that Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and other jihadists attacked prisons and police stations during the first few days of the revolt against Mubarak, killing policemen and helping thousands of inmates escape.
 
The ousted president is already on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition activists during his one year in power and prosecutors have announced he will also stand trial for espionage involving Hamas.
 
AP noted that most of the charges which Morsi faces carry the death penalty.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Last week, the temporary government in Cairo blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization".
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

Egypt: Tear Gas, Water Cannons Fired at Pro-Brotherhood Protest

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 02 January 2014 16:59
Egypt-clashesEgyptian officials continued their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday, firing tear gas and water cannons at a student demonstration in Cairo. 
 
Egyptian state media reported that about 300 pro-Brotherhood students blocked a road near the Defense Ministry, chanting anti-police and anti-government slogans. When the protesters refused to move, anti-rioting tactics were used, officials say - including tear gas and water cannons. 
 
Police also fired tear gas on student protesters from the state's main university in the Nile Delta city of Zakazik, the hometown of ousted President and Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi, according to Reuters. Hundreds of protesters have been killed since Morsi's ouster in July - many of them students. 
 
Last week, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters. The government has been engaging in a wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.
 
This week has been particularly tumultuous. Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian officials seized the assets of at least 500 Brotherhood leaders. On Monday, 3 Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested on charges of meeting with Brotherhood officials. 

Morsi's PM Arrested While Trying to Flee

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 25 December 2013 14:07
Hisham Qandil warned that no one was above the law.  Egypt state TVEgyptian police have arrested the former prime minister who served under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the BBC reports.
 
The local interior ministry said Hisham Qandil was caught in a mountainous area with smugglers trying to flee to Sudan.
 
Qandil was sentenced to a year in prison while in office for not carrying out a court ruling to renationalize a company that was privatized in 1996, noted the BBC.
 
A Cairo appeals court upheld the sentence in September, two months after the military overthrew Morsi.
 
Qandil represented an alliance of pro-Morsi Islamist groups in meetings with European Union mediators, who tried to persuade the military-installed interim government to launch a fully inclusive transition process that included the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
However, he kept a low profile after the authorities launched a fierce crackdown on the Brotherhood in August, in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands detained.
 
Qandil resigned from office several days after Morsi’s ouster, addressing his letter of resignation to the ousted president and saying it had become “impossible to work in view of the bloodshed.”
 
Qandil, who became Egypt's youngest prime minister since 1954 in August of 2012, is not a member of the Brotherhood or any other Islamist political organization, but is said to be religious.
 
Since July 3, when Morsi was ousted, Egypt’s interim authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi Supporters to Boycott Referendum on Constitution

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 13:53
Bihand barsThe Islamist supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi will boycott a referendum on a new constitution next month and organize a campaign against the vote, a spokesman said Monday, according to AFP.
 
The Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement had initially considered calling on its supporters to vote against the constitution, according to the news agency.
 
However, an extensive police crackdown on the Islamists has decimated their grassroots network, weakening their chances of defeating the new constitution at polls.
 
“We reject any vote under military rule,” declared Hamza al-Farawy, a spokesman for the Anti-Coup Alliance, which demands Morsi’s reinstatement.
 
The referendum on January 14 and 15 is expected to ratify the new constitution, which replaces the one suspended by the military when it ousted Morsi in July.
 
Farawy told AFP the coalition of Islamist groups, which conducts almost daily protests, would launch a boycott campaign.
 
He did not elaborate on how the campaign would unfold, as thousands of Islamists, including the Brotherhood's top leadership, have been arrested. Morsi himself is behind bars, accused of inciting violence against protesters last year.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed in street clashes since the president was overthrown by the military amid massive protests against his turbulent year-long rule.
 
The new constitution will be the first step in the army's political transition plan that should conclude with parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
 
The revised charter, approved several weeks ago, preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases. This has angered secular groups that backed the military in ousting Morsi.
 
Other articles include one stipulating that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
Another main article of the new charter forbids the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds.
 
One article says that “no civilian can be tried by military judges, except for crimes of direct attacks on armed forces, military installations and military personnel.” Secular artists have demonstrated against this provision, saying it could be applied to protesters, journalists and dissidents.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood was quick to reject the new constitution due to the fact that it preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Opposes New Constitution

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 08:44
Brotherhood Challenges  Seizing Group FundsEgypt's Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the country's new constitution, nearly half a year since the ouster of Brotherhood-backed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
138 of the 247 articles of the draft new constitution, which has been deemed controversial even by secular opponents of the Brotherhood, was approved by a panel of 50 yesterday. The panel included groups who were left out of deliberations over the previous charter tabled by Morsi, including the Coptic Church and other secular representatives of civil society and political groups.
 
It includes just two Islamists, neither of whom is from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Part of the resistance it has met is due to the fact that it preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.
 
Article 204 stipulates that "no civilian can be tried by military judges, except for crimes of direct attacks on armed forces, military installations and military personnel." However, opponents say that even under such terms the constitution provides a very wide scope for the military to try civilians - including activists - in military courts.
 
Another main article approved was one forbidding the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds - although yet another aticle stipulates that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
It will be put to a national referendum early next year as the first step in a "democratic transition" promised by the interim government headed by military strongman General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
 
The referendum is set be followed by presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2014.
 
But pro-Brotherhood demonstrators protested angrily in Cairo's Tahrir Square, shouting "the people want the fall of the regime" - the slogan of popular protest movements which sprung up during 2011 at the start of the so-called "Arab Spring".
 
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds, following which the army sealed off the square, according to local sources.
 
Tahrir has been at the center of the various mass-protests which brought down two successive Egyptian presidents - Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and Mohammed Morsi two years later.

Morsi Trial Could Incriminate Obama Administration

Category: Reports
Created on Thursday, 07 November 2013 09:56
First day in trial
 
On Monday deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was flown from his prison to stand trial for high treason and other suspected crimes. During course of this trial, alliances and connections could be revealed that incriminate foreign powers, in particular the US, that publicly claim to keep their hands clean of terrorist activity.
 
As Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, president of the Egyptian Christian movement Voice of the Copts, noted in a press statement:
 
"In a country where no regulation or law exists to govern taping of conversations...judges dismissed by Morsi and now reinstated will be presented with tape recordings of Morsi’s discussions with Aymen Al Zawahiri of Al Qaeda."
 
This damning evidence will likely demonstrate that Morsi collaborated with Al Qaeda, and "if found guilty of conspiring with foreign entities against the welfare of the Egyptian state, Morsi will be assigned the death penalty and, since he is non-military, sentenced to hang," according to Ramelah.
 
But who else could the trial uncover as co-conspirators?
 
"Potentially the US administration, the European Union...and others," warned Ramelah. "With the expected court examination of tape recordings and documents, Morsi’s backers and supporters will be exposed unless back room deals are brokered in advance."
 
Ramelah said one of the suspicions the evidence could confirm is that the Obama Administration gave $8 billion to the Muslim Brotherhood to establish a Hamas presence in Sinai.
 
Another known incident the court will surely focus on is the recent delegation of US Senators who tried to pressure Egypt's interim government into releasing Morsi and reinstalling him as president.
 
Egyptians initially had nothing but appreciation for America's backing of their pro-democracy revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. But when Obama then turned around and "aided the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power," said Ramelah, the US began to be viewed as a foreign conspirator against the interests of Egyptians.

Morsi Refuses Prisoners' Uniform, Trial Halted

Category: News
Created on Monday, 04 November 2013 07:11
Bihand bars
 
The first session of the trial of Egypt's ousted ex-President Mohammed Morsi was halted shortly after it began and will not resume until January 8. The panel of judges trying Morsi ended the court session after Morsi refused to wear a prisoner's uniform and due to in-court disruption by the defendants, who were chanting "illegal, illegal.”
 
Morsi refused to take off his suit and wear the white uniform that was worn by ex-president Hosni Mubarak during his own trial, as required by Egyptian law, refusing to accept the court's authority and insisting that he was still the rightful president.
 
He reportedly shouted at judge -- "I am the legal and legitimate president of Egypt!" -- and called for the removal of the military regime.
 
Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012, when he was president.
 
Protests took place Monday outside the court and elsewhere in Cairo.
 
Morsi was ousted by the military in July after millions poured into the streets to protest against his rule.
 
Early on Monday he was airlifted into the Police Academy compound by helicopter, the BBC reported. Other leaders of the Brotherhood, including Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aatie, were said to have been brought in by armored personnel carriers.

Egypt Warns Muslim Brotherhood Against Protests

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 03 November 2013 19:50
Egypt Warns Muslim Brotherhood
 
Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Saturday it will take all action within the boundaries of the law to combat violence during protests against deposed president Mohammed Morsi's trial, scheduled to begin on November 4.
 
According to the website of the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, the ministry said in a statement published on its official Facebook page that it will stand against any assaults, abiding by "legal procedures regulating the use of firearms."
 
The statement added that the ministry is "accurately monitoring" all the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, especially its call for mass protests on Monday when the former president is due in court.
 
The Brotherhood has plans that aim to "spread chaos, obstruct state facilities and citizens' interests and hold up traffic," the ministry statement continues.
 
It specifically warned against any attempts to attack public institutions or security forces.
 
The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy had vowed to stage daily protests until Monday.
 
On Saturday, dozens rallied outside the High Court in downtown Cairo, and on Friday thousands staged demonstrations nationwide, reported Al-Ahram.
 
The alliance intends to have a presence in front of the court on Monday, and called on supporters to protest in front of Egyptian embassies and consulates worldwide.
 
Pro-Morsi groups have been staging demonstrations regularly since the army deposed the former president in July amid mass demonstrations against his rule.
 
Daily "anti-coup" demonstrations have recently been held on university campuses, some of which have escalated into violent conflict. On Wednesday, police stormed the Al-Azhar University campus in Cairo to disperse student protests after clashes erupted with staff members.
 
In August, police forcibly dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo leaving hundreds dead. Since then, many of the group's members and dozens of its leading figures have been arrested, with some put on trial on charges of inciting violence.

Morsi's Family: He Will Never Give Up

Category: News
Created on Monday, 14 October 2013 18:35
mohammed-morsi-parliamentThe family of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said on Sunday he would not enter any negotiations or accept any compromises following a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood by military-backed authorities, Reuters reports.
 
Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3 following mass protests against his rule. Authorities have since launched a crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood, killing hundreds at protest camps and marches and arresting about 2,000 activists and group members, including the movement’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie.
 
Morsi has been held in a secret location since his overthrow and has not been seen. He is due to face trial on November 4 on charges of inciting violence.
 
“The president will not retreat, or negotiate or accept compromises especially after all the martyrs, the wounded, the arrested and missing,” his family said in a statement carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website and quoted by Reuters.
 
“No matter how much they try to keep him away, the president will not retreat from a return to the democratic path, even if his soul is the price of this democratic path,” the family said in a statement to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
 
Earlier Sunday it was reported that Morsi will be detained for another 30 days as investigations into his escape from prison  during the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak continue.
 
Morsi is accused to have plotted attacks on jails in the uprising that overthrew Mubarak and of conspiring with the Hamas terrorist group in this plot.

Morsi to be Tried for Inciting to Murder

Category: News
Created on Monday, 02 September 2013 12:49
Mohammed Morsi in jial
 
Egypt's state prosecutor said on Sunday he has referred ousted President Mohammed Morsi for trial on charges of inciting the murder of protesters, the BBC reported.
 
The accusations relate to violence outside the presidential palace in Cairo last December when seven people were killed in clashes.
 
Fourteen other members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood are to stand trial on the same charges, according to the BBC.
 
The state prosecutor referred the former president for trial late on Sunday, Egypt's state media reported. The report said he would go on trial on charges of "incitement to murder and violence" in December 2012.
 
The date for the trial is yet to be announced.
 
The deposed president has previously been accused of the "premeditated murder of some prisoners, officers and soldiers" when he and several Muslim Brotherhood leaders were freed during a breakout at a Cairo prison in January 2011.
 
He is also alleged to have plotted attacks on jails in the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and of conspiring with the Hamas terrorist group in this plot.
 
Morsi has been held by the army since his overthrow on July 3. His location remains unknown to the general public, though several foreign diplomats who have visited Egypt visited him.
 
The army-backed government has arrested most of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood since Morsi was toppled on July 3, including the movement’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie.
 
Violence has been on the rise since Morsi was ousted and it peaked on August 14 when police cleared two Brotherhood-led sit-ins in the capital, killing more than 600 people. The move caused days of nationwide violence that has killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Morsi's supporters.
 
Many of Morsi’s supporters have retaliated by attacking police stations, torching churches and setting government buildings on fire.

PA Forces Arrest Hamas Member Over Morsi Perfume

Category: News
Created on Friday, 23 August 2013 19:32
Morsi PerfumeA member of Hamas was arrested by the Palestinian Authority security services for selling a perfume named in honor of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi, family members told AFP on Thursday.
 
36-year-old Islambuli Badir was arrested during a raid on his perfume shop in the town of Tulkarem, his brother Abdel Fattah Badir told the news agency.
 
"Men from the security services on Tuesday raided my brother's shop and confiscated all the perfume bottles that were labelled 'Morsi,' then arrested Islambuli and also seized his laptop," said Abdel Fattah.
 
"The day after the arrest, my younger brother Qassam, 24, put a sign up on the shop door saying: An apology to customers -- our Mohammed Morsi perfume has been seized by the authorities," he told AFP.
 
Abdel Fattah said his family learned of the raid and arrest from neighbors and witnesses.
 
"No one... contacted us to inform us of the arrest, my brother's place of detention or the charges against him," he charged.
 
He added, however, that given the items confiscated, it was presumably because of the name of his Morsi perfume.
 
The Badirs are known Islamist sympathizers, noted AFP, but Abdel Fattah insisted that the Morsi perfume was simply a business venture that had attracted a lot of customers.
 
The Hamas government in Gaza enjoyed strong ties with Morsi, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent movement. Since Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian military, Hamas has been “feeling the heat”, as Cairo accused Hamas of interfering in Egyptian affairs and encouraging the terrorist activity in the lawless Sinai.
 
The ouster of Morsi, who appeared to shun PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction in favor of Hamas, has also brought the longstanding rivalry between Fatah and Hamas back to life.
 
A Fatah spokesman recently accused Hamas of being responsible for Egypt closing the Rafiah border crossing with Gaza. Egypt decided to close the crossing, he claimed, because Hamas had intervened in Egypt's internal affairs in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dozens Reported Dead in Crackdown on Islamists

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 06:45
Muslim Brotherhood protestorsAt least 32 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday morning, according to Al Jazeera, as Egyptian police began a crackdown on supporters of the deposed president and Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Morsi. Islamists told CNN the dead number 200 with thousands injured, but the government said only seven had been killed and the network was not able to confirm either claim.
 
The killing took place when police swooped down on protesters camping out in support of the Islamist leader at Rabaa al-Adawiya, eyewitnesses told Al Arabiya. The Nahda Square camp near Cairo University has now been completely cleared, according to Egyptian authorities cited by the BBC, which says security forces are searching for Muslim Brotherhood supporters who may be hiding in a nearby zoo, among other places.
 
Two members of Egypt's security forces were killed by gunfire while breaking up the protests, the state news agency reported. The news agency said security forces had begun implementing “a phased plan to disperse the protesters.”
 
Security forces fired tear gas into the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in as police vehicles, one blaring a siren, advanced on the protesters. Smoke could be seen billowing from the square, as military helicopters flew overhead.
 
"It is the beginning of the operation to disperse the protesters," a security official told AFP, confirming that similar steps were being taken at the Nahda square camp.
 
Al Arabiya reported that security forces were opening up Nasr Street, a road which leads out of Rabaa al-Adawiya, for those wanting to leave camp. He added that some protesters had begun burning tires to block the security forces.
 
Muslim Brotherhood supporters began to march from Cairo’s Salam Mosque to Rabaa al-Adawiya, as Islamists urges Egyptians to take to streets against what they described as a “massacre,” AFP reported.
 
On Tuesday night, at least one person was killed and 11 others were wounded by gunfire in clashes between supporters of Mohammed Morsi and opponents in Cairo, Al Arabiya TV reported.

Egypt's President: No Concessions to Muslim Brotherhood

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 08 August 2013 18:29
Adly MansourEgypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, on Wednesday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the "failure" of international talks aimed at resolving Egypt's political crisis, Al Jazeera reported.
 
Mansour warned supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi that the government will not make any concessions to them.
 
"The train of the future has left the station," he was quoted by Al Jazeera as having said in a televised address on Wednesday night, marking the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
 
"It's moving forward, and all of us have to catch it."
 
Earlier, the presidency announced the end of foreign-led efforts to resolve the turmoil, which has been spiraling since the army toppled Morsi on July 3.
 
In a statement carried on state news agency MENA, it said, "The Egyptian state ... holds the Muslim Brotherhood fully responsible for the failure of those efforts [by foreign envoys] and what may be the consequences of this failure."
 
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawy warned, meanwhile, that the government's decision to clear the ongoing pro-Morsi protests is "final," and urged demonstrators to leave, saying they had "broken all the limits of peacefulness".
 
"The government's patience to bear this is nearly expired," he said, adding that any use of weapons against policemen or citizens would "be confronted with utmost force and decisiveness."An anti-Mursi protester wears a mask Reuters
 
Foreign envoys from America, Europe, Africa and several Gulf Arab states have been visiting Egypt in the past month, with little success. The government had allowed the envoys to visit jailed Brotherhood leaders in order to give a peaceful solution a chance.
 
On Tuesday, two senior U.S. senators on a mediation mission said they considered Morsi’s removal to have been a military coup - causing an uproar in the Egyptian media and drawing a strong riposte from the acting president.
 
The Republican senators - Lindsey Graham and John McCain - also called on the military to release political prisoners and start a national dialogue to return Egypt to democratic rule.
 
The interim Egyptian government’s announcement could set the stage for a showdown with pro-Morsi protesters who have been camping out at Rabaa and al-Nahda in Cairo.
 
Thousands of pro-Morsi protesters have camped out in the capital, demanding the reinstatement of the leader, and rejecting proposals by the interim leadership.
 
They say that several of their political leaders have been detained illegally, including Morsi himself.
 
Almost 300 people have been killed in political violence since the overthrow, including 80 Morsi supporters shot dead by security forces in a single incident on July 27.
 
Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday urged the Egyptian military and the country’s bitterly divided political factions to resolve their differences through dialogue and agree on a return to democratic rule.
 
“Over the course of the last several days, envoys of the United States, the EU, the UAE and Qatar provided constructive ideas to the Egyptians in order to help prevent further violence and help advance the transition to a democratically elected civilian government,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, according to AFP.
 
Psaki told reporters that McCain had not been representing the United States on his visit. Graham and McCain said last week they were being sent by President Barack Obama to Egypt.
 
“We absolutely do not believe that the time for dialogue has passed. We will continue this conversation, and it certainly remains a priority of ours and obviously a priority of the EU and other officials around the world who’ve been involved,” Psaki said, according to AFP.

Kerry: The Egyptian Army 'Saved Democracy'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 02 August 2013 05:26
John Kerry
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that the Egyptian army, which deposed President Mohammed Morsi, had intervened at the request of millions to protect democracy and had restored it, AFP reported.
 
Kerry made the remarks in a interview in Pakistan, where he earlier congratulated the new government on an historic transition of democratic power in a country long dominated by the military.
 
He was asked by Geo television why the United States had not taken a clear position on military intervention against Morsi’s democratically elected government.
 
“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of descendance into chaos, into violence,” Kerry was quoted as having told Geo.
 
“And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment - so far. To run the country, there’s a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy,” he added.
 
The interviewer questioned him over allegations that Egyptian troops have shot dead people in the streets.
 
“Oh, no. That’s not restoring democracy, and we’re very, very concerned... I’ve been in touch with all of the players there. And we have made it clear that that is absolutely unacceptable, it cannot happen,” Kerry said, according to AFP.
 
He said the United States was working with the European Union and other countries to see if the troubles in Egypt could be resolved peacefully.
 
“But the story of Egypt is not finished yet, so we have to see how it unfolds in the next days,” he said.
 
So far, the White House has been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ouster of Morsi a “coup,” noting that it will need to “review what has taken place.”
 
Last week, the Obama administration told lawmakers that it does not plan on defining the overthrow of Egypt’s government as a coup, meaning the United States could continue providing $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt.
 
Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said Tuesday they're traveling to Egypt next week at President Barack Obama's request, in hopes of spurring the reconciliation process there.

Morsi Accused of Working With Hamas

Category: News
Created on Friday, 26 July 2013 12:55
Morsi and HamasThe Egyptian state prosecutor has ordered that ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi be held for questioning for 15 days on suspicion of working with Hamas to attack and kill Egyptian security personnel.
 
The accusations relate to attacks and prison riots in early 2011, during mass protests against the rule of then-President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Morsi is accused of having coordinated prison breaks in which prisoners and guards were killed. Dozens of members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group escaped jail in the breaks.
 
Egyptian media outlets have previously reported rumors that Hamas was involved in the attacks. Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, having been formed in the 1980s from Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in Gaza.
 
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have denied receiving assistance from foreign terrorist groups in the prison break. They say their group was helped by Egyptian citizens.
 
The state prosecutor’s announcement came as the Egyptian capital prepares for mass rallies following Friday prayers. Protesters are expected to turn out both in support of and against Morsi.
 
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad denounced the detention order Friday, saying it signified the return of Mubarak's regime.

Egypt: 7 Die in Overnight Clashes

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:44
 
Overnight Clashes 
Seven people have died and scores have been left wounded after a night of violence on the streets of Cairo.
 
The clashes came as supporters of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi, continue to oppose what they are calling a "military coup" by the military against his rule.
 
Morsi was deposed on 3rd July after refusing protesters' demands for a referendum on his continued rule.
 
According to the BBC, Monday night's clashes broke out after Morsi's supporters blocked the "6 October bridge", which is a major arterial route. 
 
In response, police fired tear gas, and the demonstrators responded by throwing stones. The violence then spread to the Giza district of the capital, where at least two people were killed, according to the head of Egypt's emergency services, who said that security personnel were among the casualties
 
Egyptian state media reported that 261 people were injured in the clashes.
 
This latest violence comes only a week after more than 50 people were killed in clashes outside the compound where the deposed president is allegedly being held by security forces.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood denounced that incident as a "massacre" by the security forces against "unarmed protesters", but events surrounding that incident remain unclear.
 
Last night's clashes will also be seen in the light of increasingly belligerent rhetoric by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
 
After last weeks' death, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie called for an "uprising", and this week informed his followers via social media that they should "suspend" their Ramadan fast in preparation for a "jihad."

Germany, U.S. Tell Egypt: Release Morsi

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 13 July 2013 19:09
mohammed-morsi-parliamentGermany and the United States on Friday called for the release of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi amid mounting tensions between supporters and opponents over his overthrow.
 
"We call for an end to the restrictions on Mr. Morsi's whereabouts," a German foreign ministry spokesman told reporters, according to the AFP news agency.
 
The German ministry spokesman said a "trusted institution" such as the International Committee of the Red Cross should be granted access to Morsi.
 
The United States later joined Germany, calling on the Egyptian military and interim leaders to free Morsi for the first time since he was detained over a week ago.
 
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States agreed with Germany's earlier appeal for Morsi to be released and was "publicly" making the same request, according to AFP.
 
Psaki said that U.S. officials had been in regular contact with all sectors of Egyptian society.
 
Morsi is currently being held in a "safe place, for his safety" and has not yet been charged with anything, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry, but military and judicial sources say he may eventually face charges.
 
The German spokesman called on all groups to refrain from violence as the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential group from which Morsi emerged, vowed to keep protesting until he is reinstated.
 
"We and our partners are of the opinion that any appearance of selective justice in Egypt must be avoided and there must be no political persecution," he said.
 
"That is not only an expression of our principles on the rule of law but also our conviction that any form of political persecution would be damaging for the future of Egypt."
 
He said "a return to democracy" in Egypt could only succeed "if all political forces can take part in the democratic transformation process."
 
On Wednesday, Egyptian prosecutors called for the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie.
 
According to Egyptian State media, Badie is charged with incitement to violence. His arrest came after days of bloodshed following Morsi’s ouster. It is not yet clear whether his arrest is linked to recent calls for an "uprising" by the Muslim Brotherhood, following the killings of more than 40 protesters outside the facility where Morsi is being held.
 
The White House has been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi a “coup,” noting that it will need to “review what has taken place.”
 
A decision to brand Morsi’s ouster a coup would, by law, require the Obama administration to halt aid to the Egyptian army.
 
Last Saturday, President Barack Obama said the United States is “not aligned” with any political party or group in Egypt following Morsi’s ouster.
 
On Wednesday, officials said that the United States plans to go through with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks, despite Morsi’s overthrow.
 
Hours later, however, it was reported that Obama has ordered a review of U.S. assistance to Egypt's government.

Fatah: Hamas Stirring Up Trouble in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Monday, 08 July 2013 14:54
Hamass Chief of StaffPalestinian Authority factions Hamas and Fatah are at it again.
 
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf on Sunday accused Hamas of being responsible for Egypt closing the Rafiah border crossing with Gaza. Egypt decided to close the crossing, he claimed, because Hamas had intervened in Egypt's internal affairs in favor of its parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Assaf said that Hamas's position does not represent the “Palestinian people” and, in fact, causes damage to their interests. As well, he claimed, Hamas hurts the efforts "to end the occupation, establish a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem and the bring about the return of the refugees."
 
Rather than spending millions of dollars on television and radio channels which fully support the Muslim Brotherhood against the will of the Egyptian people, said Assaf, Hamas should have made use of these channels to serve the “Palestinian cause” and avoid stirring up internal conflict in Egypt.
 
He also claimed that Hamas intervenes in the internal affairs of other countries such as Lebanon and Syria according to the guidelines of the Muslim Brotherhood, while ignoring the will and interests of the Palestinian Authority Arabs. Hamas leaders live in ivory towers, charged Assaf, while Gaza residents are paying the price of their policy.
 
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent movement which in recent months has been helping Hamas in its attempts to be removed from the U.S. and European countries’ lists of terrorism organizations.
 
Hamas and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah have been at odds since Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007.
 
Washington has stood fast in its support of Abbas's Palestinian Authority as the legitimate representative of PA Arabs.
 
Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.
 
Implementation of the accord stalled over the make-up of the interim government, and a February 2012 deal signed by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha intended to overcome outstanding differences was opposed by Hamas members in Gaza.

Sadat's Daughter: Thank You for Avenging my Father

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 06 July 2013 11:52
Sadats Daughter0
 
Egypt's new transitional government has received thanks from Rokaya Sadat, the daughter of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
 
“I thank the Egyptian people for the demonstrations of June 30 that led to Morsi’s downfall. I thank you, because you have helped to avenge my father’s blood,” she said.
 
Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by the Islamic Jihad in Egypt.
 
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi are not sitting silently by following his removal from power following mass demonstrations. Supporters are now calling for counter-rallies to show support.
 
The Islamic coalition lead by the Muslim Brotherhood issued a call to Egyptians to come to a mass demonstration Friday.
 
“Come out and protest peacefully against the military coup of the arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders,” organizers said. “Say no to military curfew, say no to a military coup.”
 
The coalition further called to “break the ties with corrupt figures from the Mubarak regime.”
 
On Thursday, Egypt’s transitional leaders denied that Morsi’s ouster at the hands of the army had been a military coup.
 
“This is not a military coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people," said Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr.
 
Chief Justice Adly el-Mansour has been officially sworn into office as the new transitional president of Egypt.

U.S. Cautious on Egypt, Calls for Quick Return to Democracy

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:45
Barack Obama addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25 2012. Reuters 
 
U.S. President Barack Obama held a meeting with members of his national security team on Thursday to discuss the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a White House spokeswoman said, according to Politico.
 
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were among those joining the meeting in the White House Situation Room, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said, adding that some officials took part by secure video conference.
 
"Members of the president's national security team have been in touch with Egyptian officials and our regional partners to convey the importance of a quick and responsible return of full authority to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible; a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups; avoiding any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters; and the responsibility of all groups and parties to avoid violence," Meehan said, according to Politico.
 
The meeting came one day after Egypt's army ousted and detained Morsi, after a week of deadly clashes and mass protests calling for him to go.
 
After Morsi was forced out, Obama issued a statement saying he was "deeply concerned" by the role of the Egyptian military in the Egyptian president's ouster, which followed massive street protests. However, Obama's statement did not call Morsi's ouster a coup, which could trigger a halt on U.S. aid.
 
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr on Thursday told Kerry that the overthrow of Morsi had not been a military coup.
 
"I hope that they read the situation in the right way, that this is not a military coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people," Amr said.
 
Meanwhile on Thursday, the spokesman of Egypt's military said the army would not carry out any exceptional or arbitrary measures against any political group.
 
Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said on his official Facebook page that the armed forces and security agencies want to "ensure national reconciliation, constructive justice and tolerance."
 
He noted that said only peaceful protests will be tolerated, urging Egyptians to avoid attacks on Brotherhood offices to prevent an "endless cycle of revenge."
 
Earlier, Obama said he was "deeply concerned" over Morsi's ouster and urged the army to refrain from "arbitrary arrests".
 
After Morsi’s ouster, the military arrested several Muslim Brotherhood officials, including its chief Mohammed Badie.
 
The Egyptian Islamic Coalition, headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, has called on supporters to take to the streets after Friday prayers and hold huge rallies.
 
Citizens were asked told to “demonstrate peacefully and say 'no' to the army's arrests and 'no' to the military coup.

Morsi Offers to Form Interim Coalition Government

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 18:35
Mohammed Morsi 07-02Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday offered to form an interim coalition government even as top aide says it appeared a military coup was under way, CNN reported.
 
"The presidency's vision includes the formation of a coalition government that would manage the upcoming parliamentary electoral process, and the formation of an independent committee for constitutional amendments to submit to the upcoming parliament," Morsi said in a Facebook post.
 
"The presidency blames for the most part a number of political parties that boycotted all calls for dialogue."
 
"To protect the blood of Egyptians, the presidency calls on all political and national forces to prioritize national interest above all other interests," it added.
 
Hundreds of thousands of supporters and protesters have been rallying throughout the country.
 
"One of the mistakes I cannot accept -- as the president of all Egyptians -- is to side with one party over another, or to present the scene from one side only. To be fair, we need to listen to the voice of people in all squares,” Morsi said, according to CNN.
 
It is not clear whether Morsi’s statement would suffice to prevent military intervention.
 
An aide to Morsi, Essam El Haddad, said in a Facebook posting that a coup was under way.
 
"For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: military coup," said El Haddad, who works in the office of the assistant to the president on foreign relations.
 
"Today, only one thing matters. In this day and age, no military coup can succeed in the face of sizable popular force without considerable bloodshed. Who among you is ready to shoulder that blame?"
 
"In a democracy, there are simple consequences for the situation we see in Egypt: The president loses the next election or his party gets penalized in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Anything else is mob rule," he added, according to CNN. 

Morsi Rejects Army's 48-Hour Ultimatum

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:41
Egypts revolution was marked by severe infringements against womens rights in Tahrir square Reuters 
Egypt’s presidency on Tuesday rejected an army ultimatum threatening to intervene if Islamist President Mohammed Morsi does not meet the demands of millions of protesters.
 
Instead, the presidency said army declaration had not been cleared by the presidency and could cause confusion, AFP news agency reported.
 
The presidency also denounced any declaration that would “deepen division” and “threaten the social peace”.
 
The army statement, which was read out in a televised address on Monday, gave Morsi 48 hours to comply with its call.
 
“If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (the armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation,” the military said.
 
Al Arabiya reported that the statement was welcomed by cheers and celebrations from Morsi’s opponents, who are still camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
 
Tamarod, the grassroots campaign behind Sunday’s massive protests against Morsi, said that the statement by the armed forces meant that the military had “sided with the people”.
 
It “will mean early presidential elections”, Tamarod’s spokesman Mahmud Badr told reporters, according to AFP.
 
For its part, the presidential statement said that Morsi was consulting “with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will.”
 
“The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution,” said the presidency, referring to the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. “Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances,” it added.
 
But Morsi’s rejection of the army ultimatum “has raised the stakes in the country’s political crisis,” Al Arabiya noted. Sixteen people were killed in protests on Sunday, including eight in clashes between supporters and opponents of the president outside the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Resigns, Islamists Call for Rallies

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:24
egyptian foreign Minister-mohammed-kamel-amr
 
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr tendered his resignation on Monday night, the state news agency MENA reported, after millions of Egyptians rallied against President Mohammed Morsi.
 
The report did not elaborate or cite any sources for the information. At least five other ministers have resigned since Sunday's mass protests.
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Islamist National Alliance has called for mass rallies in support of embattled President Mohammed Morsi, following a 48-hour army ultimatum for all parties to reach a resolution.
 
Al Arabiya reported that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups began amassing their supporters in different provinces on Monday night, with a focus on Cairo and Giza.
 
Activists reported that a pro-Morsi rally headed toward Cairo University, where Islamists plan to stage an open sit-in to counter opposition rallies.
 
During its press conference, the National Alliance of Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the use of army to “assault legitimacy” in a way that leads to a coup.
 
Earlier, the country’s Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all Egyptian political forces to reach a resolution or face a military “road map for the future” that “will not exclude anyone.”
 
A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) later rejected the ultimatum, saying that “the age of military coups is over."
 
The Islamist Alliance said it respects all initiatives to resolve the crisis but it must be based on the constitution. It also condemned acts of violence that killed a dozen protesters and wounded hundreds others.
 
Supporters and opponents of Morsi exchanged gunfire in the city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday, witnesses said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between rival protesters since Sunday, when millions of Egyptians flooded the streets to demand that Morsi resign.
 
Meanwhile, Nour, Egypt's second biggest Islamist party, said it feared the army's return to public life "in a big way".
 
A member of Nour told the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper that the party believed Egypt's national security was threatened by the division between the ruling Islamists and their opponents.
 
The party released a statement calling for early presidential elections and the formation of a technocratic government, reported Al-Ahram.
 
The party further demanded the formation of a committee tasked with amending Egypt's post-revolution constitution, albeit without changing articles related to the "state's identity."

Morsi's Spokesman: He's Made Errors; We Want Dialogue

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 30 June 2013 21:11
Topical Press Agency-Getty Images composed by Al Arabiya
 
Egypt's main opposition coalition on Sunday urged hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi to stay on the streets until their goals are achieved, AFP reports.
 
In a statement entitled "Revolution Statement 1", they urged "all the revolutionary forces and all citizens to maintain their peaceful (rallies) in all the squares and streets and villages and hamlets of the country... until the last of this dictatorial regime falls."
 
Meanwhile, Egypt's presidency held a press conference on Sunday night at the presidential palace in Cairo, where spokesman Omar Amer stressed the presidency's respect for the demands of the street but also emphasized the need for dialogue.
 
"We respect the demands of the street and we acknowledge that the political scene in Egypt is continuously changing," said Amer, according to the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper. "But initiatives are being announced every hour and communication is ongoing."
 
"Groups who have demands must sit down to dialogue," said Amer, who reminded listeners of the presidency's repeated calls for dialogue that had been rejected by some factions of the opposition.
 
"We must stress that the issue of dialogue is not mere rhetoric as some claim it to be," Amr said, according to Al-Ahram. "The president has continuously said that he wanted everyone to listen to his initiative with the aim of holding serious national dialogue."
 
Amer further stressed that the presidency would continue to protect peaceful protests to ensure the right of expression. He also praised the "patriotic role played by Egypt's security forces" in protecting Sunday's mass rallies.
 
He added that Morsi knows he has made mistakes and is working to fix them.
 
“Morsi announced to all of Egypt's people he made mistakes and that he is in the process of fixing these mistakes," Amer said, noting that the president was serious in his repeated calls for national dialogue.
 
An estimated 17 million people hit the streets of Egypt on Sunday, as Morsi marked one year since his inauguration as president.
 
Al Arabiya has updated the death toll in the protests to five people. Earlier reports indicated that four people had been killed. More than 200 protesters were wounded in Egypt, according to security and health officials cited by the network.
 
The anti-Morsi protests have been organized by a grassroots campaign calling itself Tamarod, meaning "rebellion" or "insubordination", which claims to have collected the signatures of 22 million Egyptians demanding the president leaves office.
 
The petition has no legal standing, but it has nonetheless tapped into widespread public anger towards Morsi. The president has made a number of controversial decisions since taking office, most notably a November decree which shielded his decisions from judicial review.
 
On Friday, Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo in two opposing mass rallies, one calling for Morsi’s ouster, and another showing support for the embattled Islamist president.
 
Protests also took place in Alexandria, where American student Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was killed after being stabbed by a protester. Another man, an Egyptian, was also killed.

Muslim Brotherhood Member Killed in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 29 June 2013 12:30
Muslim protests
A member of Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood was shot dead in an attack on the group's office in the Nile Delta town of Zakazik on Thursday, the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.
 
The incident took place a day before the start of a wave of opposition protests who will demand the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a year after he was elected.
 
The news was carried by the official website of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), noted Al-Ahram. FJP blamed an opposition youth group and people loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak for the attack.
 
Two people died on Wednesday in street clashes between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Mansoura, noted Al-Ahram.
 
Millions are expected to take to the streets this weekend to demand the resignation of Morsi’s administration. In response, Islamist supporters of Morsi are preparing for battle, forming “vigilante justice groups” to deal with lawbreakers who “threaten state facilities” and “incite violence,” Egyptian media reports said on Thursday.
 
June 30, the scheduled date for the largest protest, to take place in Cairo's Tahrir Square, is the one year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration. Since then, protesters say, the Egyptian economy has gone from bad to worse. The increasing influence of Islamic fundamentalism inspired by Morsi has done an excellent job of keeping tourists away from Egypt, denying the country one of its most important sources of hard currency.
 
On Wednesday, ahead of the protests, Morsi gave a speech in which he warned that political polarization in Egypt is threatening the country’s democracy.
 
He admitted during the speech that he has “erred in some decisions” while being correct in others, the report said.
 
Speaking to a large crowd of Islamist supporters, Morsi said he has an “obligation” to correct his mistakes, adding he is standing before his audience as a “citizen” while emphasizing Egypt was his responsibility.

American Killed in Clashes in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Friday, 28 June 2013 16:52
Anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir square in Cairo - Reuters
An American citizen was killed in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Friday during clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi, Al-Ahram reported.
 
A total of two people were killed in the city on Friday, the report said, the second victim being an Egyptian man.
 
The American man died from a stab wound to the chest, according to Amin Ezz El-Din, head of Alexandria's security directorate.
 
Ezz El-Din told Al-Ahram that the young American had been taking pictures with his mobile phone near one of the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which President Morsi hails, when he was attacked by unknown assailants.
 
The victim was rushed to a military hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The man, whose name remains unconfirmed, reportedly worked as a journalistic photographer.
 
The state-owned news agency MENA reported earlier that 70 people who were injured in the Alexandria clashes were being treated at the hospital.
 
Al-Ahram reported that the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in the Alexandrian district of Sidi Gabr were set on fire, leading to 40 injuries.
 
Thousands of Egyptians also gathered in Cairo on Friday, reported Al Arabiya, in two opposing mass rallies, one calling for Morsi’s ouster and another showing support for the embattled Islamist president.
 
Opponents of Morsi poured into the iconic Tahrir Square, waving flags and chanting “leave.”
 
Protests against Morsi took place in other parts of Cairo, including the districts of Shubra, Sayeda Zeinab and Mohandesseen, according to Al Arabiya.
 
Abdullah al-Senawi, a leftist activist and a leader of the opposition National Salvation Front, told Al Arabiya that Morsi has proven to be “untrustworthy,” and should be removed through street action.
 
Morsi cannot be overthrown through institutional means because he has jeopardized state institutions, Senawi added.
 
Supporters of the president gathered in Cairo’s Nasr City district, vowing an “open rally” to protect his “legitimacy,” reported the network.
 
On Wednesday, the army deployed troop reinforcements and armored vehicles near several cities, and has threatened to intervene if violence flares to prevent Egypt from entering a “dark tunnel.”
 
Army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has urged the rival camps to talk and reach a resolution to prevent violence.
 
On Thursday, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood was shot dead in an attack on the group's office in the Nile Delta town of Zakazik.
 
The news was carried by the official website of FJP, which blamed an opposition youth group and people loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak for the attack.
 
Morsi’s opponents are planning a huge rally in Tahrir Square on Sunday, June 30, the one year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration. Since then, protesters say, the Egyptian economy has gone from bad to worse. The increasing influence of Islamic fundamentalism inspired by Morsi has done an excellent job of keeping tourists away from Egypt, denying the country one of its most important sources of hard currency.
 
On Wednesday, ahead of the protests, Morsi gave a speech in which he warned that political polarization in Egypt is threatening the country’s democracy.
 
He admitted during the speech that he has “erred in some decisions” while being correct in others, the report said.
 
Speaking to a large crowd of Islamist supporters, Morsi said he has an “obligation” to correct his mistakes, adding he is standing before his audience as a “citizen” while emphasizing Egypt was his responsibility.

Islamic Preacher: Protesting Against Morsi is a 'Rebellion'

Category: Islam
Created on Saturday, 22 June 2013 07:03
03-15-11A radical Islamic preacher has warned that participation in the protests scheduled for June 30 against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is forbidden, the Egyptian-based Al Bawaba reports.
 
The preacher, Wagdy Ghoneim, reasoned his warning in the fact that Morsi is a legitimately elected president. Those who will join the protests, he warned, are “disbelievers” because the people should obey those in charge of their affairs.
 
In a video posted to YouTube, Ghoneim said, "[The protests] are a front of destruction, made up of crusaders, criminals, thugs, and traitors who want to oust his Excellency the president."
 
"You started it all and the initiator is the aggressor," he added, according to Al Bawaba.
 
Egypt's opposition Tamarod campaign has gathered almost 15 million signatures, according to spokesperson Mahmoud Badr. The umbrella group, whose name means "rebel" in Arabic, had originally set a goal of acquiring 15 million signatures for their petition calling for early presidential elections on June 30.
 
"June 30 will be a day of genuine revolt against the henchmen of former President Hosni Mubarak," Ghoneim said, according to Al Bawaba, adding that supporters of the Islamic current will not allow "the disbelievers" to assume power.
 
The Qatar-based preacher said that the rebellion against Morsi is a rebellion against Islam and an attempt to abort the Islamic project.
 
He also claimed that weapons had been stashed away in churches and that these should thus be searched.
 
In August 2012, shortly after Morsi won the presidential election, Ghoneim issued a controversial fatwa in which he condoned the killing of anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters who were planning a protest calling for the Brotherhood and its political party to be disbanded.
 
Ghoneim's fatwa provoked an outcry by Morsi's opponents, who defended their right to protest peacefully, according to Al Bawaba.
 
In January, Ghoneim urged Morsi to kill “thugs” and “criminals” who are burning the country, otherwise people will do it themselves.
 
“I am saying this publicly and I am inciting the killing of criminals; I say criminals; thugs, thieves, those who are burning the country and those who are killing innocent people,” he said.
 
Ghoneim is reportedly banned from several Western countries, including the United States and the UK, for activities deemed to foment hatred or encourage and support violence.
 
Some of his previously controversial statements include gloating over the Hurricane Sandy disaster in the United States last October, and the death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III.
 
Ghoneim described the hurricane as revenge from Allah for the “Innocence of Muslims” film made that sparked waves of violent protests across the Muslim world in September.

Syrian Minister: Morsi Should Close Israeli Embassy

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 16 June 2013 21:53
Mohammed Morsi - AFPEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi should close down the Israeli embassy in Egypt and not the Syrian one, a Syrian minister said on Sunday.
 
Omran Zoubi, Syria’s Information Minister, was responding to Morsi’s announcement from Saturday that Egypt was cutting diplomatic ties with Damascus and has ordered Syria's embassy in Cairo to be closed.
 
Morsi also urged world powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.
 
"We would have expected Morsi to announce he is closing the Israeli embassy in Egypt, but these are the ways of a leader who refuses to accept such positions," Zoubi said on Sunday, adding that “the heretic project taking place in Egypt is part of the Zionist project.”
 
A Syrian official source quoted by the Xinhua news agency slammed Morsi’s decision as "irresponsible," adding that his calls for foreign intervention and imposing a no fly zone on Syria constitute an infringement upon the region's sovereignty and serve only the interests of Israel and the United States.
 
"We condemn Morsi's irresponsible stance that mirrors his attempt to implement the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood," the Syrian source said, scoffing that Morsi should have saved his "enthusiasm" to the time when he boycotts Israel “that is still killing Palestinians.”
 
Egypt sides with the Islamist rebels who are trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose offshoot movement, Hamas, has already been removed from Damascus due to its support for the rebels.

Morsi Rejects Negotiations with Bedouin Kidnappers

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:03
Egypts President Mursi Al ArabiyaEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday barred negotiations with the kidnappers of three policemen and four soldiers who appeared to plead for their release in an online video, Al Arabiya reports.
 
The abductions on Thursday in the Sinai Peninsula prompted angry police to protest and shut down border crossings with Gaza and Israel, piling the pressure on Morsi to help free their colleagues.
 
The president, however, was quoted as saying by the MENA news agency that “There are no negotiations with criminals and the awe of the state will be preserved.”
 
Al Arabiya reported that a video posted on Sunday by an anonymous account on YouTube appeared to show the seven hostages, blindfolded and with their hands on their heads, identifying themselves.
 
It was later removed from YouTube only hours after it was broadcast by the media.
 
One of the hostages was prodded by what appears to be a rifle held by an abductor off screen before another hostage says the kidnappers want the release of detained Bedouin “political activists”.
 
“We hope that you, president, quickly release the political activists from Sinai as soon as possible because we can no longer stand the torture,” said one hostage, according to Al Arabiya.
 
The policemen, who worked at border crossings, and soldiers were kidnapped at gunpoint while travelling to their homes.
 
A spate of hostage-taking has rocked the Sinai, which borders Israel as well as Gaza, but they usually last for no longer than 48 hours and are often carried out by Bedouin seeking the release of jailed relatives.   
 
Such abductions have been on the rise since the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.
 
Presidential sources told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the Egyptian army has urged Morsi to give them the “green light” to launch an attack operation against the kidnappers.
 
The president originally sought negotiations with the kidnappers to “avoid any bloodshed and further complicate the situation in Sinai,” the sources told Asharq al-Awsat.
 
In March, Bedouin kidnapped an Israeli and a Norwegian tourist in the south of the peninsula, which is dotted with beach resorts, to press for the release of jailed relatives.
 
The tourists were held for five days and released unharmed.
 
In April, armed Bedouin tribesmen freed a Hungarian peacekeeper after briefly detaining him to press for the release of a jailed relative.
 
Bedouin tribes in the Sinai blamed the interior ministry and its attitude towards locals for the kidnappings, and have implied that the Bedouin were better off living under Israeli rule and that they have been suffering since Israel withdrew from the region as part of the peace agreement with Egypt.

Egypt Assures Hagel: We're Committed to Peace with Israel

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:51
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with Mohammed Morsi AFPEgypt’s leaders have assured visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that they are committed to their country’s peace treaty with Israel.
 
A statement on Wednesday by the U.S. embassy in Cairo said that during Hagel’s visit, “Egyptian leaders reiterated their commitment to Egypt's international obligations, including the Peace Treaty with Israel.”
 
Hagel urged Egypt's Islamist-led government to press ahead with reforms in a trip designed to bolster America's alliances in a region swept by upheaval, AFP reported.
 
According to the report, after meeting his Egyptian counterpart, General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, and President Mohammed Morsi, Hagel said he came to express America's "commitment to Egypt's emerging democracy" and "encourage the democratic and economic reforms that are underway here".
 
Egypt has been a cornerstone of regional U.S. influence since its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, but Washington has faced a more strained relationship with Cairo after the 2011 overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak.
 
In his talks with Sissi, Hagel said the government should stick with democratic reforms to ensure "stability in Egypt and the region," according to AFP.
 
He praised the Egyptian military "for the responsible role it has played during a difficult period in the country," a senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the news agency.
 
Hagel later met Morsi, elected in June as the country's first Islamist and civilian president, before flying to the United Arab Emirates on the last leg of his six-day tour of the Middle East.
 
Washington has increasingly adopted a critical tone towards Morsi's government over allegations the Islamists have stifled opposition figures and media.
 
In the post-Mubarak era, the United States still provides more than a billion dollars in annual military aid to Egypt.
 
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released $250 million in financial aid to Egypt, with a pledge of more if Morsi implements economic and political reforms.
 
The U.S. has also signed a deal with Egypt to provide the country with a group of 20 F-16s, part of the US$1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt. Four of those aircraft have already been delivered.
 
The huge funding package has always been seen as a way of ensuring Cairo abide by the 1979 peace accords with Israel.
 
In Wednesday's talks, Morsi reaffirmed Cairo's commitment to the peace treaty and voiced appreciation for continued U.S. military aid, U.S. officials said, according to AFP.
 
Hagel and his counterparts also discussed deteriorating security in the Sinai Peninsula, with the Egyptians pledging to deter militant elements and the Americans offering possible military hardware or advice, officials said.
 
Security in the Sinai collapsed and lawlessness took over after the uprising which ousted Mubarak in February 2011. Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush terrorists in the restive region after a terror attack claimed the lives of 16 Egyptian soldiers.

Egyptian Protesters Operated on Without Anesthetic

Category: Reports
Created on Saturday, 13 April 2013 19:39
Protesters assist an injured fellow protester during clashes with army soldiers at the cabinet near Tahrir Square in Cairo. ReutersSenior Egyptian army doctors were ordered to operate without anesthetic on wounded protesters at a military hospital in Cairo during protests against military rule, according to an investigation commissioned by President Mohammed Morsi.
 
The report into military and police malpractice since 2011, excerpts of which were presented in the British Guardian on Thursday, also alleges that doctors, soldiers and medics assaulted protesters inside the hospital.
 
The findings, which relate to the army's behavior during the Abbassiya clashes in May 2012, are the latest leak to the Guardian of a suppressed report investigating human rights abuses in Egypt since the start of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
 
Earlier leaks alleged that the military were involved in torture, killings and forced disappearances during the uprising.
 
The new chapter contains testimony from doctors and protesters about the treatment of injured demonstrators at the Kobri el-Qoba military hospital in Cairo in May 2012.
 
It alleges that a senior military doctor ordered subordinates to operate on wounded protesters without anesthetic or sterilization and reports that doctors, nurses and senior officers also beat some of the wounded protesters. It also claims that a senior officer ordered soldiers to lock protesters in a basement.
 
The chapter concludes by recommending an investigation into the highest echelons of the army leadership.
 
Even though the report has not been officially published, its status as a presidential document – coupled with the extent of its conclusions – represents the first acknowledgment by the state of the scale of the atrocities both during and since the 2011 uprising.
 
"I can't overestimate the importance of this report," Heba Morayef, the director of Human Rights Watch in Egypt, told the Guardian. "It's incredibly important. Until today, there has been no official state acknowledgement of excessive force on the part of the police or military. The army always said they took the side of protesters and never fired a bullet against them. This report is the first time that there has been any official condemnation of the military's responsibility for torture, killing, or disappearances."
 
According to a doctor on duty at the hospital, whose identity was withheld in the report, "Military doctors, soldiers and medics inside the hospital assaulted protesters by severely beating them and verbally assaulting them."
 
He also described how another senior military officer "ordered doctors not to give any sorts of anesthetic during treatment or stitching. He also ordered that their wounds should not be cleaned."
 
The doctor also alleged that a senior military official assaulted the already injured patients "and then ordered his soldiers to lock them up in the hospital basement".
 
The Abbasiya clashes in May 2012 – the second major disturbance to occur in the area in less than a year – were sparked by protests against the military rule that followed Mubarak's downfall. At the protests in May 2012, two died and nearly 400 were injured in battles between protesters and soldiers.
 
Morsi, meanwhile, has promoted several generals in a show of support for the military, who have been strongly condemned since the report was leaked.
 
According to the Guardian, Morsi promoted three major-generals to the honorific titles of lieutenant-general. He listened attentively as the head of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, denied any accusations of military malpractice.
 
"The armed forces during the last two years was very, very fond of Egypt and the people of Egypt and did not commit any malpractices whatsoever," Sisi said.

Egyptians Rally, Call on Army to Assume Power

Category: News
Created on Friday, 15 March 2013 21:52
pro-army protestorsHundreds of Egyptians demonstrated in Cairo on Friday to press for the army to assume power in a country plagued by unrest and instability two years after a revolution which toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
 
According to a report in AFP, the protest was held in eastern Cairo in response to a call by retired army officers and groups opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of President Mohammed Morsi.
 
"The army must return" to power and "Down with the power of the guide," they chanted, referring to the Brotherhood's spiritual guide Mohamed Badie, as they waved portraits of General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the armed forces chief.
 
Al-Ahram newspaper's website reported that pro-army demonstrations were also held in Damietta in northern Egypt.
 
In late January, Sissi warned that Egypt's political crisis could lead to the collapse of the state, something which the military which ruled the country between the fall of Mubarak and last June's election of Morsi would not allow.
 
Opposition groups and disgruntled Egyptians accuse Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists of monopolising power, and say the revolution failed to reach its goals of social justice.
 
The gulf between the ruling Islamists and the opposition has been growing wider since November when Morsi issued a decree expanding his powers.
 
The decree was repealed after intense street pressure, but only after a controversial Islamist-drafted constitution was rushed through.
 
Earlier this week a legal body representing Morsi filed an appeal against a court ruling cancelling the country’s controversial parliamentary polls.
 
On March 6, a lower court ordered the cancellation of the April 22 parliamentary elections because Morsi had ratified a new electoral law without sending it to the top court, as required by the constitution.

Egypt's Morsi Appeals Cancellation of Elections

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 14 March 2013 20:51
Counting votes in Egypt - ReutersA legal body representing Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday filed an appeal against a court ruling cancelling the country’s controversial parliamentary polls, judicial sources said.
 
The Egyptian State Lawsuit Authority (ESLA) filed the suit on behalf of the president and the Supreme Administrative Court will examine the case on Sunday, one source said, according to a report in AFP.
 
On March 6, a lower court ordered the cancellation of the April 22 parliamentary elections because Morsi had ratified a new electoral law without sending it to the top court, as required by the constitution.
 
The ESLA argued Morsi was acting within his sovereign powers when he ratified the law, arguing that it was beyond the lower court's jurisdiction to cancel the elections.
 
Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood had both issued statements insisting they would not challenge the court's decision.
 
Wednesday's appeal intensifies the ongoing political battle that pits the president and his Islamist allies against a wide-ranging opposition that believes Morsi has failed to address Egypt's dire political and economic problems since coming to power in June.
 
Egypt's main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front (NSF), had already announced it would boycott the polls -- expressing doubts over its transparency -- and demanded a new electoral law.
 
The gulf between the ruling Islamists and the opposition has been growing wider since November when Morsi issued a decree expanding his powers.
 
The decree was repealed after intense street pressure, but only after a controversial Islamist-drafted constitution was rushed through.
 
The Brotherhood and its Islamist allies won an overwhelming majority in legislative polls in the winter of 2011-2012 before that parliament was dissolved for irregularities.
 
The NSF has accused the Brotherhood of wanting to "dominate all the state organs" and reiterated its demand for the formation of a government of national salvation.

Mubarak Surprises With a Call to Rally Around Morsi

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:47
MubarakFormer Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted two years ago as part of the so-called Arab Spring protests, has made a surprise call to Egyptians to rally around his Islamist successor and end violent protests.
 
Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid a-Deeb, told AFP on Monday that his client had told him that President Mohammed Morsi, twice jailed by Mubarak before he himself was overthrown, is the "elected president, people should rally around him.”
 
"Mubarak is sad and frustrated" by recurring violent protests around the country targeting the Islamist president, Deeb told AFP.
 
The 84-year-old had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protesters during the 18-day uprising in 2011 that ended his three decade reign.
 
However, in January an Egyptian court ordered a retrial for Mubarak, after accepting an appeal against the life sentence. The new trial is set to start on April 13, reported AFP.
 
Mubarak also spoke out against violent protests, although he believed Egyptians have the right to peaceful demonstrations, Deeb said.
 
"He still considers those who attacked police stations in 2011 were thugs and criminals," Deeb told AFP, referring to protesters who torched police stations across the country during the 2011 revolt.
 
Roughly 850 people were killed in the uprising.
 
Mubarak has suffered a number of health scares in prison that prompted his transfer to a military hospital. Deeb said his health has "improved."
 
Morsi, who won elections last June on the Muslim Brothehood's ticket, had pledged new trials for former regime officials including Mubarak implicated in the protesters' deaths.
 
Morsi's presidency has been plagued by unrest and deadly clashes between protesters and police. Port Said, a city on the Suez Canal, has been in open revolt against the Islamist.

Egyptian Court Orders Cancellation of Parliamentary Elections

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:08
egypt-supreme courtEgypt's administrative court on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of controversial parliamentary elections scheduled for April 22, throwing the country deeper into political crisis.
 
AFP reported that President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood both issued statements saying they would respect the court's decision, although it was not immediately clear whether the president would appeal.
 
Judge Abdel Meguid al-Moqanen said Morsi had ratified a new electoral law last month without sending it to the Supreme Constitutional Court for its approval, as required by the constitution.
 
Consequently, the court referred the law to the constitutional court and cancelled Morsi's decree calling for elections.
 
The law was issued by the Senate, which has been acting as a legislative body since a previous court ruling abolished the lower house of parliament in June over constitutional issues.
 
The Senate sent it to the constitutional court, which returned it after rejecting several articles. The Senate then amended the law, but never sent it back for final approval.
 
This puts Morsi in an uncomfortable position.
 
He has repeatedly insisted that elections would usher in stability, dismissing criticism that the timing of the polls was wrong with the country gripped by unrest and division.
 
In a brief statement, the president's office said it "respects" the court's move, "reaffirming its respect for the constitution, the rule of law and the separation of powers."
 
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying it would "respect the decision of the administrative court to halt the elections and then send the matter to the constitutional court," according to AFP.
 
The election had been scheduled to take place in four stages over two months.
 
Egypt's main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front, had already announced it would boycott it -- expressing doubts over its transparency -- and demanded a new electoral law.
 
The gulf between the ruling Islamists and the opposition has been growing wider since November, when Morsi issued a decree expanding his powers.
 
The decree was repealed after intense street pressure, but only after a controversial Islamist-drafted constitution was rushed through.
 
The Brotherhood and its Islamist allies won an overwhelming majority in the legislative polls in the winter of 2011 and 2012.
 
The NSF has accused the Brotherhood of wanting to "dominate all the state organs" and reiterated its demand for the formation of a government of national salvation.
 
The opposition, less organized than the Brotherhood, insists that the president appoint a new government before the election. The presidency says the new parliament should have the right to appoint the cabinet.
 
It organized massive protests against Morsi in November and December after he adopted the now-repealed powers that shielded his decisions from judicial review.
 
The protests have slowed since he pushed through the constitution in a December referendum. The mass rallies have given way to smaller, but often violent, protests.
 
In the latest development, the head of security in Suez Canal city of Port Said was sacked on Wednesday, as violence raged there for another day.
 
Mohsen Radi was relieved of his duties and transferred to the prison services department in Cairo "in response to demands by residents and to help calm the situation," a security official said, according to AFP.

Islamic Cleric Charges: Morsi is a 'Zionist'

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 03 March 2013 10:34
morsi prayingAn Islamic cleric who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood described Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on Friday as a “Zionist” who shares security interests with Israel, Al Arabiya reports.
 
Speaking to protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Nasr, leader of the Front “Ozharyoun with civil state,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was coming to Egypt to support “Morsi the Zionist.”
 
“They are all relatives, the Brotherhood and the Jews are one; Israel's security is part of the Brotherhood's security and the security of the Brotherhood is part of Israel's security,” Sheikh Nasr said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
He described Kerry as a “Jew and the son of a Jew,” saying the American top diplomat would be received with mobs hurling eggs and tomatoes at him upon his arrival to Egypt.
 
“As for myself, I have a special gift for him and for anyone who supports the regime of the Brotherhood’s regime,” Sheikh Nasr said, before removing his shoe and raising it in front of the crowd, reported Al Arabiya.
 
Sheikh Nasr called for “continued struggle” until the establishment of a civil state in Egypt. “Europe and American and Brotherhoods are conspiring against the Egyptian Revolution to abort it because they know that if Egyptians take the right path of civilization they will create,” he claimed.
 
The cleric also criticized Morsi over recent reports that his government is considering a proposal to auction the exploitation of key historical sites and monuments, including the pyramids, by foreign tourism firms.
 
While Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, he has mostly given Israel the cold shoulder since taking office.
 
In November, Morsi recalled the Egyptian ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.
 
Last October, Egypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, after the Jewish State expressed interest in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart.
 
At the same, recent reports indicated that Egypt will be sending a security delegation to Israel for the first time since Morsi took office.
 
A Muslim Brotherhood official and a senior aide to President Mohammed Morsi recently caused an uproar in Egypt over his remarks that Egyptian Jews should leave Israel and reclaim their properties back at home.
 
The official, Essam al-Erian, said during a television interview that "it is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation."
 
He added that the Jews should return immediately to Egypt to "make way for the Palestinian people" and said, "Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion."
 
Erian later sought to dispel the controversy he caused by saying that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and predicting that Israel will cease to exist within a decade.
 
He subsequently resigned from his position, with analysts saying that there was no doubt that he was pressure to quit after inviting back to Egypt the descendants of Jews who were thrown out of the country, or who fled due to anti-Semitic violence.

Morsi to Send Security Delegation to Israel

Category: Reports
Created on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 07:09
Mohammed Mursi ReutersFor the first time since Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi took office, Egypt will be sending a security delegation to Israel.
 
Channel 10 News reported on Monday that the Egyptian delegation will discuss issues such as the situation in Gaza and other matters of mutual interest with Israeli officials. The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Israel in the near future, the report said, but no exact date was given.
 
While Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, he has mostly given Israel the cold shoulder since taking office.
 
In November, Morsi recalled the Egyptian ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.
 
Last October, Egypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, after the Jewish State expressed interest in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart.
 
Last week, a four-man Israeli security delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo to take part in talks about the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Some reports indicated the Israeli delegation had come to hold indirect talks with Hamas about understandings reached after the ceasefire which ended Pillar of Defense.
 
Sending a security delegation to Israel would be the first time that Morsi’s regime publicly acknowledges the relations and cooperation between the two countries, noted Channel 10.
 
Shortly after he took office, Morsi decided to order the retirement of Egypt's top generals, including Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, with whom Israel had enjoyed close ties during the Mubarak regime.
 
While the generals were not replaced with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the replacements were certainly approved by the movement, said the Channel 10 report.

Thousands Demonstrate Against Morsi in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 10 February 2013 08:28
Against Morsi in EgyptThousands took to the streets across Egypt on Friday, after opposition groups called for "Friday of dignity" rallies demanding President Mohammed Morsi fulfill the goals of the revolt that brought him to power.
 
Banging on drums, waving flags and clapping in unison, demonstrators marched from several locations in the capital to Tahrir Square and the presidential palace, according to an AFP report.
 
"The people want the downfall of the regime," the protesters chanted while others slammed interior ministry officials as "thugs".
 
In Tahrir, several thousand protesters carried aloft a huge Egyptian flag as they listened to speeches and music from the stage.
 
Several hundred protesters also gathered outside the presidential palace chanting "Freedom, where are you? Brotherhood rule stands between us," in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood movement from which Morsi hails.
 
The protests come after several incidents of police violence last week that caused public outrage and sparked angry demonstrations.
 
Protests against the Islamist president also took place after the weekly Friday Muslim main prayers in several of Egypt's 27 provinces.
 
In the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh, police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd outside a government building, as protesters hurled stones at the security forces, the official MENA news agency reported.
 
In Tanta, police clashed with protesters who tried to break into the municipal council building, MENA added.
 
Thirty-eight opposition parties and movements had joined together to call for the rallies, demanding a new unity government, amendments to the Islamist-drafted constitution and guarantees that the independence of the judiciary be maintained.
 
Earlier this week, the death of a pro-democracy activist following days in police custody sparked fury and reignited calls for police reform -- a key demand of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
His death came just days after footage was aired live on television of a man stripped naked and beaten by riot police during demonstrations near the presidential palace.
 
The two incidents confronted Morsi with uncomfortable parallels with the old regime.
 
A former Egyptian presidential candidate told Al Arabiya in an interview on Sunday that the brutal dragging and beating of the naked man was previously planned by the interior ministry in an effort to terrorize the public.
 
Ahmed Shafiq, who lost the presidential race to Morsi last year, said the widely circulated video of 50-year-old Hamada Saber was intended to send a message of fear to those protesting in the streets against the brutal reign of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The torture is a “new style of exaggerated terrorism used against the Egyptian citizens that will lead only to violence and hatred of the regime,” Shafiq told Al-Arabiya.

Morsi Claimed Jews Control U.S. Media, Says Senator

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 24 January 2013 20:27
Newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi ReutersEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi warned visiting U.S. senators to beware the Jews who control U.S. media, The Cable blog reported.
 
The report indicated that a group of seven senators, led by John McCain, met with Morsi last week and urged him to distance himself from remarks he made in 2010, when he referred to Jews as “apes and pigs.” The remarks were exposed in a video distributed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
 
One of the senators, Chris Coons of Delaware, told The Cable that while Morsi was trying to explain himself, he said, “‘Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don't view me favorably.’”
 
The Cable asked Coons if Morsi specifically named the Jews as the forces that control the U.S. media. Coons said all the senators believed the implication was obvious.
 
"He did not say [the Jews], but I watched as the other senators physically recoiled, as did I," Coons told The Cable. "I thought it was impossible to draw any other conclusion."
 
He added, “The meeting then took a very sharp negative turn for some time. It really threatened to cause the entire meeting to come apart so that we could not continue.”
 
Morsi claimed last week that his virulent anti-Semitic comments were taken out of context.
 
"The president stressed they were taken from comments on the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and stressed the need to put the remarks in the right context," said a statement from Morsi’s office.
 
Morsi "stressed his commitment to the principles he has always insisted on, including full respect for religions, freedom of faith and religious practices, especially the heavenly religions.”
 
He also "stressed the need to differentiate between Judaism and its adherents from (those who practice) violent actions against Palestinians."
 
MEMRI has since released another video in which Morsi is seen calling for Arabs to raise their children on hatred of Jews.

Ahmadinejad to Visit Cairo, Meet Morsi

Category: News
Created on Monday, 21 January 2013 13:44
Morsi shakes hands with Ahmadinejad - RutersEgypt under the Muslim Brotherhood is continuing to get closer to Iran.
 
According to a Sunday report in PressTV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will soon visit Cairo in order strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
 
Khalid al-Said Ibrahim Amari, identified in the report as the head of Egypt’s Interest Section in Tehran, said that Iran’s president would visit Egypt on February 6 and 7, at the official invitation of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
 
Ahmadinejad will attend the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, according to PressTV. The Iranian president is also expected to hold talks with Morsi.
 
The presidents of Iran and Egypt will address the current regional and international issues, Amari said.
 
The Egyptian official also stated that if Iran and the six major world powers (P5+1) are willing to proceed with negotiations in Cairo, the Egyptian government would be ready to host the talks.
 
Egypt supports Iran’s right to achieve peaceful nuclear energy and believes that outstanding issues pertaining to Tehran’s nuclear energy activities should be settled through negotiations, Amari said.
 
Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, Britain, the U.S. and Germany) have held several rounds of talks, with the main focus being Iran’s nuclear program. The last round of negotiations was held in Moscow in June. The talks failed as Tehran rejected P5+1 calls for it to scale back its nuclear enrichment activities, while asking for relief from sanctions that in 2012 began to bite.
 
There have been no formal diplomatic ties between Egypt and Iran since 1979, when then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty between their two countries. This caused Iran to cut off ties with Egypt.
 
However, Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been getting closer to the Islamic Republic.
 
Morsi visited Iran in August, where he met Ahmadinejad. However, Morsi's spokesman later said the meeting did not address the issues of bilateral relations or raising the level of diplomatic representation between the two countries.
 
Ahmadinejad and Morsi described the two countries as “strategic allies” during the meeting.
 
Egypt recently indicated it also plans to pursue a relationship with Hizbullah, Iran’s terror proxy in Lebanon.

Newly Released Morsi Video: Nurse Children on Hatred of Jews

Category: Islam
Created on Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:00
Mursis spontaneous finger-lickingAs Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said that virulent anti-Semitic comments which he reportedly said prior to his election were taken out of context, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released another video which depicts him making similar comments.
 
The latest video is an address delivered by Morsi, which was posted on the Internet on January 10, 2010. It was translated by MEMRI and published on Wednesday.
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In the newly exposed remarks, Morsi calls U.S. President Barack Obama “insincere” and calls for Arabs to raise their children on hatred of Jews.
 
“One American president after another – and most recently, that Obama – talks about American guarantees for the safety of the Zionists in Palestine,” Morsi said. [Obama] was very clear when he uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt. He uttered many lies, of which he couldn’t have fulfilled a single word, even if he were sincere – which he is not.
 
“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” he added. “They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.”
 
The earlier video released by MEMRI shows that Morsi, also in 2010, rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as “apes and pigs.”
 
The United States later condemned those remarks and urged Morsi to immediately clarify his views.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated Obama Admin

Category: Reports
Created on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 07:31
An Egyptian magazine has claimed that six American Islamist activists who work with the Obama administration are Muslim Brotherhood operatives who enjoy strong influence over U.S. policy.
 
The December 22 story was published in Egypt's Rose El-Youssef magazine and was translated into English for the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). The story suggests the six turned the White House "from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood."
 
The story is largely unsourced, but its publication is considered significant in raising the issue to Egyptian readers, IPT said.
 
The six named people include: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
 
Alikhan is a founder of the World Islamic Organization, which the magazine identifies as a Brotherhood "subsidiary." It suggests that Alikhan was responsible for the "file of Islamic states" in the White House and that he provides the direct link between the Obama administration and the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.
 
Elibiary, who has endorsed the ideas of radical Muslim Brotherhood luminary Sayyid Qutb, may have leaked secret materials contained in Department of Homeland Security databases, according to the magazine. He, however, denies having any connection with the Brotherhood.
 
Elibiary also played a role in defining the Obama administration's counterterrorism strategy, and the magazine asserted that he wrote the speech Obama gave when he told former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave power but offers no source or evidence for the claim.
 
According to Rose El-Youssef, Rashad Hussain maintained close ties with people and groups that it says comprise the Muslim Brotherhood network in America. This includes his participation in the June 2002 annual conference of the American Muslim Council, formerly headed by convicted terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi.
 
He also participated in the organizing committee of the Critical Islamic Reflection along with important figures of the American Muslim Brotherhood such as Jamal Barzinji, Hisham al-Talib and Yaqub Mirza.
 
Regarding al-Marayati, who has been among the most influential Muslim American leaders in recent years, the magazine draws connections between MPAC in the international Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure.
 
Magid heads ISNA, which was founded by Brotherhood members, was appointed by Obama in 2011 as an adviser to the Department of Homeland Security. The magazine says that has also given speeches and conferences on American Middle East policy at the State Department and offered advice to the FBI.
 
Rose El-Youssef also said that Patel maintains a close relationship with Hani Ramadan, the grandson of Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, and is a member of the Muslim Students Association, which it identifies as "a large Brotherhood organization."
 
Despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was voted into power on an anti-U.S. and anti-Israel platform, it is about to receive 20 F-16 fighter jets from the U.S.
 
The jets were ordered by Mubarak, but the Muslim Brotherhood will take over the inheritance.
 
The Obama administration has also indicated its willingness to help Egypt relieve $1 billion of its debt, as part of an American and international assistance package intended to bolster its transition to democracy.
 
A video released last week showed that in 2010, current Islamist President Mohammed Morsi called to boycott products made in the United States because of its support for Israel. At the time he also rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs".
 
Previously exposed videos show that during his election campaign, Morsi reiterated that "Jihad is our path" and "the Koran is our constitution".
 
Sheikh Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and the person who some say is the true president of Egypt, has called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.

Abbas and Mashaal to Meet Morsi in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 07:19
Abbas and MashaalEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi will meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo on Wednesday, Morsi's office said.
 
Abbas and Mashaal will first "meet Egypt's intelligence chief before holding a three-way meeting with President Morsi," presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told AFP.
 
Azzam al-Ahmad, who is in charge of reconciliation efforts between his Fatah party, of which Abbas is head, said Abbas was traveling to Egypt at Morsi's invitation to discuss the subject.
 
Mashaal and aides arrived in Cairo from Doha on Tuesday for a visit of several days, the official MENA news agency said.
 
Hamas and Fatah had been at loggerheads since the Islamist movement seized control of Gaza in June 2007, following its victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections the previous year.
 
Under Egyptian mediation, the two groups reached a unity agreement in April 2011 but it has so far faltered as the parties spar over its implementation.
 
This will be the first meeting between Abbas and Mashaal hosted by the Egyptian president since he was elected in June of last year.
 
The sides seems to have been getting closer since Israel Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. During the counterterrorism operation, the two factions announced they have decided to end infighting. The Palestinian Authority later announced it will release Hamas-affiliated detainees as a goodwill gesture to boost reconciliation efforts.
 
Last week, for the first time since its violent takeover of Gaza, Hamas allowed the Gaza branch of Fatah party to mark its anniversary in the region.

Morsi in 2010: No Negotiations with 'Descendants of Apes'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 04 January 2013 15:16
Mohamed Mursi attends a meeting with Hamas leader Khaled MeshaalLong before he was elected as Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs".
 
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has translated and uploaded comments by Morsi, a member of Hamas's parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood, which he made in 2010 and were posted to the internet. In the comments, Morsi also called to boycott products made in the United States because of its support for Israel.
 
"These futile [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations are a waste of time and opportunities," Morsi is shown saying. "The Zionists buy time and gain more opportunities, as the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims lose time and opportunities, and they get nothing out of it. We can see how this dream has dissipated. This dream has always been an illusion. Yet some Palestinians, who erroneously believe that their enemies might give them something... This [Palestinian] Authority was created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests."
{youtube}JSZZYU-ghA4{/youtube}
 
He adds, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.
 
"We should employ all forms of resistance against them," says Morsi. "There should be military resistance within the land of Palestine against those criminal Zionists, who attack Palestine and the Palestinians. There should also be political resistance and economic resistance through a boycott, as well as by supporting the resistance fighters. This should be the practice of the Muslims and the Arabs outside Palestine. They should support the resistance fighters and besiege the Zionist wherever they are. None of the Arab or Muslim peoples and regimes should have dealings with them. Pressure should be exerted upon them. They must not be given any opportunity, and must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land. They must be driven out of our countries.
 
"The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine," he says. "There is no place for them on the land of Palestine. What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists.
 
"We must confront this Zionist entity. All ties of all kinds must be severed with this plundering criminal entity, which is supported by America and its weapons, as well as by its own nuclear weapons, the existence of which is well known. It will bring about their own destruction. The peoples must boycott this entity and avoid normalization of relations with it. All products from countries supporting this entity – from the U.S. and others – must be boycotted.
 
"They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. They are hostile by nature.
 
"The Zionists understood nothing but the language of force," he concludes.
 
Previous videos exposed by MEMRI show that during his election campaign, Morsi reiterated that "Jihad is our path" and "the Koran is our constitution".
 
This week, Morsi's aide predicted that Israel would cease to exist by the end of the decade, saying  that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and denouncing Israel as "Palestine's occupiers."
 
Sheikh Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and the person who some say is the true president of Egypt, has called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.

Egypt Investigates Satirist Over Morsi 'Insult'

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 01 January 2013 15:23
Topical Press Agency-Getty Images composed by Al ArabiyaEgypt's state prosecutor ordered on Tuesday an investigation into a claim that popular satirical show host Bassem Yousef insulted President Mohamed Morsi, a judicial source said.
 
On his show Al-Barnameg (The Program), Youssef, dubbed the Egyptian Jon Stewart, had poked fun at the ruling Islamists and Morsi's temporary adoption of extensive powers in November and December, AFP reported.
 
He may be summoned for questioning after the case was transferred to a Cairo prosecutor for investigation, the source said.
 
The lawyer who filed the complaint, Ramadan Abdel Hamid al-Aqsari, had in the past sought to sue a range of media personalities and politicians.
 
The state prosecutor, Talaat Ibrahim, had on December 27 ordered a probe into three top opposition leaders accused of trying to incite Morsi's overthrow.
 
The lawyer who filed that complaint has since recanted.
 
“I don’t criticize, I satirize. I make fun, which is even more shocking. Whoever is in authority will have to deal with our program,” Youssef told Al Arabiya last month.

Egypt to Pursue a Relationship with Hizbullah

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 30 December 2012 10:14
HezbollahEgypt will pursue a relationship with the Hizbullah terror group as a “real political and military force” on the ground in Lebanon, the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon told the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star on Saturday.
 
Speaking after Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-backed new constitution was signed in to law, Ambassador Ashraf Hamdy said Egypt would keep contacts “tight,” even with its enemies.
 
“We are stretching our hand out in the proper, balanced way to all regional powers, but of course, we will continue to develop our foreign policy according to our interests,” he said.
 
“You cannot discuss politics in Lebanon without having a relationship with Hizbullah. It is a real force on the ground. It has a big political and military influence in Lebanon,” the ambassador told The Daily tar.
 
Hamdy denied reports that a Hizbullah delegation had visited Egypt but said he had met with members of the group's "political bureau" in an effort “to understand each other better.”
 
“In discussions we said we want Hizbullah to remain as a political force in Lebanon acting in the interests of the Lebanese first and not others,” Hamdy continued.
 
“Resistance in the sense of defending Lebanese territory ... That’s their primary role. We ... think that as a resistance movement they have done a good job to keep on defending Lebanese territory and trying to regain land occupied by Israel is legal and legitimate,” he added.
 
Hizbullah has been designated as a terror organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on the organization's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and other officials.
 
The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution calling on European countries to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization as well.
 
The group is openly backed by the Iranian regime and, while there have been no diplomatic ties between Egypt and Iran since 1979, the country's current president Mohammed Morsi appeared to be getting closer to the Islamic Republic.
 
Morsi, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, visited Iran in August, where he met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, Morsi's spokesman later said the meeting did not address the issues of bilateral relations or raising the level of diplomatic representation between the two countries.
 
The Iranian website PressTV reported that Ahmadinejad and Morsi described the two countries as “strategic allies” during the meeting.

Morsi: Constitution is a 'New Dawn' for Egypt

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 27 December 2012 08:22
Morsi signs new constitution into lawEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday hailed an Islamist-backed charter as "a new dawn" for his country, and said he would now tackle a teetering economy, AFP reported.
 
In a televised national address several hours after he signed the new constitution into law, Morsi said he would reshuffle his government and renewed an offer of dialogue with the largely secular opposition.
 
But while he said "mistakes on both sides" occurred as the new charter was drafted and put to a referendum that gave it 64-percent voter support, he remained defiant over the "difficult" decisions he made.
 
"I only took decisions...in the interests of the nation," said Morsi, who hails from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The result, he contended, holding up the constitution, would cap nearly two years of turmoil since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and allow Egypt to enter "an era with greater security and stability."
 
It was "a new dawn for Egypt," he said, according to AFP.
 
The opposition is challenging the charter's legitimacy and positioning itself for legislative elections that are due within the next two months.
 
The National Salvation Front opposition coalition said in a statement after Morsi's speech it would continue its "peaceful struggle against the constitution... through all democratic means, including litigation, demonstrations and sit-ins."
 
Front leader Mohamed ElBaradei tweeted that the constitution was "void" because it conflicts with international law in regard to "freedom of belief, expression, etc".
 
The Front sees the charter as a possible tool to introduce strict Islamic sharia law by weakening human rights, the rights of women and the independence of the judiciary.
 
It also stressed that just one in three of Egypt's 52 million voters took part in the referendum.
 
The likelihood of prolonged "elevated" political conflict despite the adoption of the constitution prompted the ratings agency Standard and Poor's this week to knock Egypt's long-term credit rating down to 'B-'.
 
A $4.8 billion loan the International Monetary Fund put on pause this month has also made investors anxious, and raised the risk of Egypt's currency going into a nose-dive as the central bank burns through its foreign reserves.
 
Authorities have already banned travellers from taking out or bringing in more than $10,000 each. The central bank is estimated to have less than $15 billion in reserves, down from $36 billion before the fall of Mubarak.
 
Tourism, a mainstay of the economy, has also not recovered from a 32 percent decline that happened when the early 2011 revolution erupted to oust Mubarak.
 
Morsi said in his speech that "I will deploy all my efforts to boost the Egyptian economy, which faces enormous challenges but has also big opportunities for growth."
 
He said he was in consultations with Prime Minister Hisham Qandil on the ministerial reshuffle as part of "the changes necessary for this task."
 
Morsi argued that the new constitution will allow Egypt to enter "an era with greater security and stability" and vowed to promote "growth, progress and social justice."

Women Barred from Voting on Constitution

Category: Women rights
Created on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 08:03
Women Barred from Voting on ConstitutionWomen without veils complained they were not allowed to vote for the new Egyptian anti-secular constitution. Mass protests on Tuesday.
 
Egypt's opposition is calling for mass protests on Tuesday over alleged polling violations after Islamists backing Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi claimed victory in the first round of a referendum on a new charter.
 
Thousands of women complained they were not allowed to vote because they were not veiled, and Christian women also said they were turned away.
 
A low one-third turnout fueled charges of forged ballots, campaigning inside polling stations and judges being replaced by civilians favoring the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
A group of top judges announced on Monday it would boycott supervision of the second round, and Germany said it has postponed debt relief for Egypt because of concerns over the country's commitment to democracy.
 
Adding to the complications for Morsi, the prosecutor general named by the president as he temporarily assumed sweeping powers last month handed in his resignation, a judicial source told AFP.
 
The opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, urged Egyptians to "take to the streets on Tuesday to defend their freedoms, prevent fraud and reject the draft constitution" ahead of the second round.
 
It claimed "irregularities and violations" marred the initial stage of the referendum last weekend across half of Egypt that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said resulted in a 57 percent "yes" vote, according to its unofficial tally.
 
On the legal front, the State Council Judges Club, whose members took part in overseeing the first round as required by law, said it would boycott next Saturday's vote because the authorities had failed to live up to their promises.
 
The association has demanded that a "siege" of the Supreme Constitutional Court by Brotherhood supporters be lifted. But the action has continued without any intervention by the authorities, it said.
 
In Germany, a spokesman for the overseas development ministry said a plan to forgive up to 240 million euros ($316 million) of Cairo's debt had been delayed indefinitely.
 
Germany's Development Minister Dirk Niebel said earlier he had serious reservations. "There is the danger that the dictatorial system of ousted president (Hosni) Mubarak is returning," he told the daily Berliner Zeitung.
 
Large protests both for and against the proposed constitution have been staged during the past three weeks, sparking violent clashes and revealing deep divisions in society over Morsi's rule.
 
Early this month, eight people were killed and more than 600 hurt when rival protesters fought outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
 
The opposition says the constitution weakens human rights, especially those of women, and undermines the independence of judges while strengthening the military.
 
It fears Islamists propelled into power after a revolution last year that toppled Mubarak's 30-year regime want to establish Sharia-style laws.

Egypt Tense as Voting on Referendum Begins

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 16 December 2012 18:03
burning cars in Alexandria - ReutersTensions were rising late Saturday over a divisive new constitution being put to Egyptian voters in the first round of a referendum pushed through by President Mohammed Morsi, despite weeks of opposition protests.
 
AFP reported that the opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, accused Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood of "vote rigging" but stopped short of calling a boycott.
 
Instead it appealed to Egypt's 51 million voters to reject the referendum, in which voting was extended by four hours to 11:00 p.m. local time because of long lines late into the night.
 
The opposition's allegation added to the highly charged atmosphere around the vote, which was preceded by three weeks of anti-Morsi protests and clashes in Cairo last week that killed eight people and injured hundreds.
 
Late Saturday, riot police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of hardline Islamists who attacked the central Cairo headquarters of the opposition liberal Wafd Party with fireworks and stones, officers at the scene told AFP.
 
On the eve of the referendum, clashes between stone-throwing and sword wielding Islamists and opposition supporters erupted in the second-biggest city of Alexandria, injuring 23 people the official MENA news agency reported.
 
Voting was being staggered, with half the country voting on Saturday and the other half a week later because many judges were not willing to oversee polling.
 
Official results will be announced after the second round, an official told AFP. Informal results from the first round were expected to trickle out hours after polls closed on Saturday and tallying began.
 
International watchdogs, the UN human rights chief, the United States and the European Union have expressed reservations about the draft constitution because of loopholes that could be used to weaken human rights, including those of women, and the independence of the judiciary.
 
Analysts said it is likely, but not certain, that the draft constitution would be adopted.

Egyptian Army Calls for Meeting Between Morsi and Opponents

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:18
opposition refuses dialogue with MursiEgypt's army has called for President Mohammed Morsi and the secular opposition to meet on Wednesday to stop a crisis over an imminent constitutional referendum from tearing the country apart, AFP reports.
 
The televised appeal by General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the country's armed forces chief and defense minister, came late Tuesday, as rival camps of Morsi supporters and opponents brought tens of thousands of people out for separate mass rallies in Cairo.
 
The military has said it fears the Arab world's most populous country is headed for a disastrous "dark tunnel" unless the two sides talk, reported AFP. It has warned it will not allow the situation to worsen.
 
Troops have orders to use police powers to protect state institutions until results are announced from the referendum, which is scheduled for Saturday.
 
The United States has urged Egypt's military, which it provides with billions of dollars each year, "to exercise restraint, to respect the right of peaceful protest."
 
Egypt's main opposition group, the National Salvation Front, has so far rejected talks with Morsi and his Islamist camp unless the referendum is scrapped. But it said it was weighing the army's appeal.
 
Morsi has previously declared himself ready to start dialogue with the Front but has said postponing the referendum is impossible.
 
Overnight, Islamists and the opposition brought out huge crowds for and against the plebiscite, AFP reported. There was no immediate sign of any violence like that of last week, when clashes killed seven people and hurt hundreds outside Morsi's presidential palace.
 
This time, thousands of anti-Morsi protesters tore down parts of a concrete and metal barricade that had been set up by soldiers near the palace.
 
A much bigger Islamist counter-demonstration a few miles away gathered tens of thousands of referendum supporters whose mood was equally determined.
 
In his speech on state television, Sissi said the proposed meeting for Wednesday, in a military sports complex in northeast Cairo, aimed to bring all political actors, including Morsi and the opposition, together along with youth movements, judges and journalists.
 
It would not, he said, be a forum for structured political negotiations but rather an attempt to come up with some sort of entente "for the sake of Egypt".
 
"We will not talk politics or the referendum. We will just sit together so that every Egyptian who is worried in their home is reassured," the armed forces chief said. "You can have differences, but not quarrel."
 
The prolonged crisis, the worst since a popular uprising overthrew autocratic president Hosni Mubarak early last year, is intensifying uncertainty over Egypt's economy.
 
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday put on hold a $4.8-billion loan Egypt has sought to fill budget gaps it will face in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The IMF had been expected to review the loan, which would have come with budget-cutting requirements attached, this month for final approval.
 
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said, "We have officially requested the delay of a month in the negotiations with the IMF because of the political situation in the country."

US Sends Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi 20 F-16 Warplanes

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 09:56
US Air Force F-16Egypt’s increasingly unstable Muslim Brotherhood regime, voted into power on an anti-US and anti-Israel platform, is about to receive 20 F-16 fighters jets despite calls to suspend arms sales to Cairo, Fox News reported Tuesday.
 
The jets were ordered by deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and the Muslim Brotherhood is about to take over the inheritance.
 
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, swept into power earlier this year on an Islamic campaign that promised reforms, has turned the Arab Spring revolution on its end by trying to usurp power. He has deployed armed soldiers and police to quell angry riots that have raised fears of a repeat of the violent suppression of anti-Mubarak protesters nearly two years ago.
 
Despite the instability, the United States is going ahead with the delivery of the F-16 jets, part of a two-year-old order for the planes.
 
The first four jets are to be delivered January 22,  according to a source at the Texas air base where the planes are being tested. The date, by coincidence, is the same day that Israelis will vote for the next Knesset.
 
Fox noted that Egypt already has 200 F-16 warplanes and quoted  Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, as saying that the timing of the deliveries is more than questionable, but not because of the Israeli elections.
 
“Should an overreaction [by Egypt] spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put U.S. officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware … to both belligerents,” he said.
 
“Given Washington's fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”
 
Morsi has backed off his attempt to assume dictatorial powers, but he is trying to win approval of a new constitution that would place Islamic Sharia law in a more prominent place in Egypt.
 
"The Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab," a senior Republican congressional aide told FoxNews.com.
 
Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently said. “The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States.”
 
The order for the Lockheed-Martin planes is another win for the American military-industrial complex.
 
"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the enduring partnership and commitment we have made to the government of Egypt," said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs.  
 
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Wesley Miller explained to Fox, "The U.S.-Egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our broader strategic partnership for over thirty years. The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the U.S. commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts.  Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our militaries' interoperability, and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets."
 
President Barack Obama had distanced himself from the Muslim Brotherhood until it became clear that it was a driving force following the fall of Mubarak. In a radical shift of foreign policy, Obama’s advisors, some of whom support a more liberal policy towards Hamas, began making contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood and eventually established open contacts with the radical Islamic party.
 
It campaigned on a strongly anti-American and anti-Israeli platform, but the U.S. State Department has reasoned that Egypt will remain an ally.
 
State Department official Andrew J. Shapiro was cited as stating last month, “I know that the uncertainty over the Egyptian transition has prompted some in Congress to propose conditioning our security assistance to Egypt.
 
“The administration believes that putting conditions on our assistance to Egypt is the wrong approach, and Secretary Clinton has made this point strongly. Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East and a long-time partner of the United States.
 
“We have continued to rely on Egypt to support and advance U.S. interests in the region, including peace with Israel [and] confronting Iranian ambitions…”

Rival Protests Called in Growing Egypt Crisis

Category: News
Created on Monday, 10 December 2012 17:10
An anti-Morsi protester chants slogans - reutersRival mass protests have been called for next Tuesday in Egypt, over a bitterly disputed constitutional referendum, raising the potential for more violent street clashes in a sharpening political crisis.
 
AFP reported that President Mohammed Morsi's chief foes, the opposition National Salvation Front, called on Sunday for huge protests in Cairo to reject the December 15 referendum on a new charter.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, told AFP that it and allied Islamist movements would counter with their own big rallies in the capital in support of the referendum.
 
If the dueling demonstrations go ahead, there is a risk of vicious further clashes like the ones that erupted between both sides outside the presidential palace last Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding hundreds.
 
Egypt's army, which is trying to remain neutral in the deepening struggle, warned on the weekend it "will not allow" a worsening of the crisis. It said both sides must start dialogue.
 
Morsi has made a key concession to the opposition on the weekend by rescinding a decree giving himself wide-ranging powers free from judicial challenge.
 
The opposition was unmoved and maintained its position that no talks could happen while the referendum was going ahead.
 
"The Front calls for demonstrations in the capital and in the regions on Tuesday as a rejection of the president's decision that goes against our legitimate demands," National Salvation Front spokesman Sameh Ashour told a news conference, according to AFP.
 
"We do not recognize the draft constitution because it does not represent the Egyptian people," he said, reading a statement.
 
Going ahead with the referendum "in this explosive situation with the threat of the Brothers' militias amounts to the regime abandoning its responsibilities," he said.
 
The Brotherhood's spokesman, Mahmud Ghozlan, told AFP that the Alliance of Islamist Forces it belongs to was also "calling for a demonstration Tuesday, under the slogan 'Yes to legitimacy'," and in support of the referendum.
 
The almost nightly protests over the past two weeks have brought out thousands of people into the streets.
 
In recent days, the protesters have hardened their slogans, going beyond criticism of the decree and the referendum to demand Morsi's ouster.
 
Amid the protests and tensions, the army was watching nervously. Tanks and troops have been deployed outside the presidential palace but they have made no move to confront the demonstrators.
 
On Sunday, air force F-16 warplanes flew low over the city center. The official MENA news agency described the unusually low flyover as an exercise against "hostile air attacks and to secure important state installations."
 
That did not prevent several hundred anti-Morsi protesters gathering outside his palace late Sunday, AFP reported.

Protesters Nearly Break Into Presidential Palace

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 21:44
Anti-Morsi outside the presidential palace in CairoSome protesters in Egypt removed on Friday evening the barbed wire and barriers leading to the presidential palace in Cairo.
 
According to a report on the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, the guards formed a human chain to block protesters from reaching the palace.
 
A number of marches had arrived in the area Friday afternoon and, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm, thousands participated. The protesters reportedly raised banners reading, “Leave, leave” and chanted slogans calling for toppling President Mohammed Morsi’s government over the sweeping powers he granted himself as well as a planned referendum on a controversial new constitution.
 
Both Morsi's Islamist backers and the largely secular opposition have dug in their positions in the confrontation, raising the prospect of further escalation of the crisis rocking the Arab world's most populous state.
 
In a speech on Thursday, Morsi sought to portray elements of the opposition as "thugs" allied to remnants of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, toppled in a February 2011 uprising.
 
He defended a decree issued two weeks ago giving him sweeping powers immune from judicial challenge, and vowed to push on with a December 15 referendum on a new constitution drafted by a panel dominated by his Islamist allies.
 
A grudging offer to sit down with the opposition for talks on Saturday was rebuffed by the National Salvation Front coalition ranged against him.
 
The Front accused the president of "dividing Egyptians between his 'supporters of legitimacy'... and his opponents, whom he calls 'thugs'."
 
Demonstrators taking to Cairo's streets said they were determined to stop Morsi, reported AFP.
 
The demonstrations seen this week were the biggest since Morsi took office in June. The street clashes were also reminiscent of the upheaval that accompanied Mubarak's overthrow early last year.
 
At least four of Morsi's advisers have quit over the crisis, and the Cairo stock market has taken a heavy hit, reported AFP.

Egypt's Opposition Calls for Mass Protests

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 19:45
clashes with police near Tahrir - ReutersThe National Salvation Front in Egypt, a recently created umbrella group comprised of opposition groups, issued a statement on Thursday in which it said that the "authority" had lost its legitimacy and called for mass protests on Friday.
 
According to a report on the website of the Egyptian Al-Ahram daily, the statement follows deadly clashes between supporters of President Mohammed Morsi and opposition protesters that left six dead and almost 700 injured on Wednesday.
 
The clashes erupted after supporters of the president dispersed a sit-in by non-Islamist groups following a mass protest a day earlier.
 
Hundreds of thousands marched to the presidential palace in Tuesday's demonstration to protest against recent decisions by Morsi they deemed "dictatorial," said the report said.
 
"The people have noticed an evident abandonment of the duty to protect individuals and assets by the authorities which lost them their legitimacy," the statement read.
 
The clashes broke out after two weeks of simmering tension due to a November 22 constitutional declaration by Morsi, which gave him immunity from judicial oversight and protected the Constituent Assembly – which drafted a controversial constitution – from dissolution.
 
The opposition argues that the draft constitution – which will be put before a popular referendum next week after having been written by Egypt's Islamist-led Constituent Assembly – would have an adverse effect revolutionary demands including civil liberties and social benefits.
 
"We had hoped the president would have responded to repeated demands to annul the constitutional declaration and postpone the constitutional referendum until a national consensus on the draft constitution was reached," it stated.
 
The Front also rejected invitations to hold dialogue after Wednesday's events, which it had accused the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting in a previous statement.
 
"Following the latest violent events, it is difficult for the front to negotiate, ignoring the innocent blood spilt," it asserted, saying that the presidency and the government had failed to take the necessary steps and decisions to prevent the bloodshed.
 
In a speech on Thursday, Morsi said he will not tolerate killings or sabotage but will respect free speech.
 
"We respect peaceful freedom of speech but will never allow anyone to take part in killings and sabotage," he said.
 
On Thursday, medics reported, seven people had died in the continuing clashes between Morsi supporters and secular-leaning opponents outside the presidential palace.
 
The military set up a barbed wire barrier 150 meters from the palace, after ordering Morsi allies and foes alike to pull back.
 
Morsi vowed to push on with a December 15 referendum on a controversial new constitution, saying "afterwards, there should be no obstacle and everyone must follow its will."
 
As he was wrapping up his speech, reported AFP, protesters stormed the Cairo villa housing the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood which backed him for the presidency, setting it on fire.
 
"Two hundred thugs went to the headquarters. Security tried to prevent them, but some got through the back door, ransacked it and set it on fire. It is still burning now," Brotherhood spokesman Mahmud Ghozlan said, according to the report.

Morsi Won't Tolerate Killings or Sabotage

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 18:11
Bloody ClashesEgypt's President Mohammed Morsi said on Thursday he will not tolerate killings or sabotage but will respect free speech, AFP reported.
 
The comments were made in a live address to the nation after bloody clashes broke out between Morsi’s supporters and opponents.
 
"We respect peaceful freedom of speech but will never allow anyone to take part in killings and sabotage," he said in the speech which came amid the worst political crisis since his election in June.
 
On Thursday medics reported seven people had died in overnight clashes between Morsi supporters and secular-leaning opponents outside the presidential palace.
 
The military set up a barbed wire barrier 150 meters from the palace, after ordering Morsi allies and foes alike to pull back, an AFP reporter said.
 
The anti-Morsi camp is furious with the president for his assuming sweeping powers two weeks ago and by what it feels was the railroading through by an Islamist-dominated panel of a draft constitution.
 
Pro- and anti-Morsi activists armed with sticks, guns, fire bombs and rocks clashed with each other through the night.
 
"It's the beginning of a religious state," Sahar Ali, a 39-year-old tour guide and Morsi opponent told AFP earlier on Thursday.
 
"They're trying to turn it into Iran, but we won't let this happen. We got rid of the military -- the Brotherhood is next." That was a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, from whose ranks Morsi was elected president.

Tanks Deployed Outside Morsi's Palace

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 17:55
Tanks Outside Morsis PalaceEgyptian security forces deployed at least five tanks outside the presidential palace in a street where supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi had been clashing into the early hours of the morning, witnesses told Al Jazeera Thursday.
 
"The Republican Guard began a deployment around the headquarters of the presidency ... to secure the headquarters of the presidency in its capacity as a symbol of the state and the official headquarters of government," the Egyptian state news agency reported.
 
Nine armored personnel carriers were also reported to be on the street outside the palace. Five people have been killed and 446 injured in deadly clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators outside the palace that began Wednesday, the Egyptian health ministry said Thursday. At least 35 police officers are among the injured, the state-run MENA news agency reported.
 
The state news agency also quoted General Mohammed Zaki, head of the Republican Guard, as saying that "the armed forces, and the Republican Guard, will not be an instrument of oppression against protesters."

Protesters Encircle the Presidential Palace

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:08
Protesters at Presidential PalaceTens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators encircled the presidential palace on Tuesday, after riot police failed to keep them at bay with tear gas, in a growing crisis over President Mohammed Morsi's decree widening his powers.
{youtube}NvSRr7YLef8{/youtube}
 
The protesters cut through barbed wire a few hundred meters from the palace, prompting police to fire the tear gas before retreating and allowing demonstrators to reach the palace walls, AFP reported.
 
Morsi himself was not in the palace, a presidential aide told AFP. A security official said "the president of the republic left the Itihadiya palace on schedule after official meetings".
 
A video posted online by the Egyptian news network Rassd showed a convoy leaving the palace through a riot police cordon as protesters chanted "coward" and "leave."
 
The demonstrators, many from liberal and leftist movements, banged on lamp posts as others chanted "leave" in a thunderous show of force, reported AFP.
 
In the central province of Minya, clashes flared between opponents and supporters of Morsi outside the headquarters of his Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Police fired tear gas at the crowd after Morsi opponents tore down a picture of the president, prompting skirmishes with his supporters.
 
Anti-Morsi protests also erupted in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the central province of Sohag.
 
Tuesday's protests are the latest in a string of action opposed to Morsi's decree which expanded his powers and enabled him to rush through a draft constitution drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel.
 
Outside the palace, the demonstrators waved Egyptian flags, chanting for the regime's downfall and denouncing the Brotherhood for having "sold the revolution" that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
 
A November 22 decree issued by Morsi expanding his powers and enabling him to put to a mid-December referendum the draft constitution -- rejected by liberals, leftists and Christians -- has sparked strikes and deadly protests.
 
Thousands also gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square -- where protesters have been camping out since Morsi issued his constitutional declaration.
 
Independent and opposition newspapers refused to publish their Tuesday editions in protest at a lack of press freedom in the constitution, AFP reported. The move was in order to "stand up to tyranny," independent daily Al-Tahrir said on its website.
 
Morsi, who took office in June, insists the measures are aimed at ending a tumultuous transition following the 2011 uprising.
 
His opponents have accused him of choosing the same path of autocracy that finally cost Mubarak his presidency.
 
On Monday, the Supreme Judicial Council said it would ensure judicial supervision of the referendum, despite calls for a boycott by some of their colleagues including the influential Judges Club that represents judges nationwide.

Morsi Announces Date for Referendum on Constitution

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 01 December 2012 19:47
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the United Nations General Assembly - AFPEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi called on Egyptians on Saturday to vote in a December 15 referendum on the controversial draft constitution at the heart of a political crisis, AFP reported.
 
Morsi made the announcement following a ceremony where he received a copy of the charter from the head of the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, boycotted by liberals and Christians, that adopted it the day before.
 
Hundreds of thousands of Islamists rallied from early on Saturday in support of Morsi's new expanded powers and the contested charter, which has taken center stage in the country's worst political crisis since his election in June.
 
The crowds flooded the squares and large avenues near Cairo University, led by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, on whose ticket Morsi ran for office, and by hardline Salafists, causing traffic jams in the capital.
 
On Friday, opponents of the draft constitutions had massed in Tahrir Square, demonstrating the country's widening polarization.
 
Pro-Morsi protests were also staged in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the central Egyptian province of Assiut, reported AFP.
 
In Cairo, one demonstrator died and 24 others were injured when a tree fell near the main stage near the university, the report said.
 
Across the Nile River, hundreds of protesters camping out in Tahrir Square since Morsi issued a decree assuming sweeping powers were joined by more demonstrators throughout the day.
 
The National Rescue Front, a coalition of opponents led by former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei, ex-Arab League chief Amr Moussa and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, has called on the decree's opponents to keep up the pressure.
 
It said Egyptians should "reject the illegitimate" decree and the "void" draft constitution, and stressed the public's right "to use any peaceful method to protest including a general strike and civil disobedience."
 
The crisis was sparked when Morsi issued the decree on November 22, giving himself sweeping powers and placing his decisions beyond judicial review, provoking mass protests and a judges' strike.
 
His decree prevented the top legal body the Supreme Constitutional Court from potentially dissolving the Islamist-run constituent assembly, in a ruling it was to make on Sunday on the body's legality.
 
In an interview broadcast on Thursday night, Morsi again stressed that his new powers would expire once the constitution was ratified, a point Islamist supporters have repeatedly made in his favor.

Morsi to Address the Nation About Power Grab

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:11
Protesters demonstrating against Egypts Islamist President -AFPEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi will address his nation on Thursday, it was reported on Wednesday evening.
 
Morsi’s address, which will air on Egyptian state television, will discuss his decree from last week which expands his powers and places him beyond judicial oversight. He is expected to speak about the constitutional decree and why it was issued as well as the events that ensued afterwards.
 
Under the constitutional declaration, Morsi can issue "any decision or measure to protect the revolution," which are final and not subject to appeal.
 
The announcement touched off a showdown with Egypt’s judges and sparked charges by the opposition that Morsi was taking on dictatorial powers. Thousands have gathered for anti-Morsi protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well as in other areas in Egypt.
 
Tens of thousands of people packed Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest Morsi’s power grab. Elsewhere in the country, protesters enraged by the decision attacked three regional headquarters belonging to the president's Muslim Brotherhood movement.
 
The demonstrations were held a day after Morsi stuck by his decree after a meeting with the country's top judges aimed at defusing the crisis.
 
Meanwhile on Wednesday, a divisive panel boycotted by liberals and Christians was set to rush out a draft new Egyptian constitution, AFP reported.
 
Morsi had just last week given the constituent assembly an additional two months until February to complete its work.
 
But as the top court went on strike over the sweeping powers decree, the panel wrapped up its deliberations and readied for a vote among its members, its chief Ahmed Darrag said.
 
"The discussions over the draft of the constitution will be finished today, to be followed by voting," Darrag said in remarks carried by the official MENA news agency.
 
MENA reported that the panel would vote on the draft on Thursday morning. It will then be put to a referendum.
 
The head of the Islamist-dominated panel, Hossam al-Gheriani, urged the liberal, leftist and Coptic Christian members who walked out to "come back and finish the discussion on Thursday."
 
"Tomorrow will be a great day," Gheriani said.
 
The Supreme Constitutional Court had been due to review the legality of the drafting committee on Sunday, but its fate hangs in the balance amid the constitutional vacuum created by Morsi's decree.
 
Human rights groups have criticized the move to rush through the constitution.
 
"This is not a healthy moment to be pushing through a constitution because this is an extremely divisive moment," Human Rights Watch Egypt director Heba Morayef told AFP.
 
"Human rights groups have very serious concerns about some of the rights protections in the latest drafts we've seen," she said.

Egypt Pitches US ‘Strike 2’ on Arab Democracy

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 07:38
clashes with police near Tahrir - ReutersThe U.S. State Dept is dancing on pins and needles in an attempt to avoid saying that “democracy” has failed in Egypt following Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s latest power grab, which bars the judiciary from challenging his decisions.
 
Morsi’s Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood party, outlawed in the days of Hosni Mubarak, was elected in democratic elections encouraged by the United States after it helped usher Mubarak out of power last year.
 
Morsi indicated Monday he is willing to soften his decision to take almost absolute power, but a spokesman’s statement that only “acts of sovereignty’ would take precedence over judicial power is not likely to appease increasingly vocal opponents.
 
At least one person has died and nearly 1,000 have been injured in violent clashes between protesters and police.
 
U.S. State Department spokesman Olivia Nuland told reporters Monday, ,”We were concerned that there would be violence, that there were competing demonstrations, et cetera… Obviously we want to see this issue resolved in a way that meets the standards and principles that we’ve been supporting all the way through, since the Egyptian revolution began.”
 
However, when asked if Morsi’s power grab was non-democratic, Nuland treed to dodge the question, saying that “our statement speaks for our view on this and the various concerns that we had.”
 
The events in Egypt are “Strike Two” for American attempts at introducing democracy to Israel’s neighbors. Seven years ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now considered as a possible replacement for Hillary Clifton, was exuberant over the first democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority.
 
“Strike One” came in the middle of the night, when a phone call woke her up and she was informed that Hamas had won.
 
Ironically, but perhaps not coincidentally, Strike Two involves the Muslim Brotherhood, which created Hamas.
 
Nevertheless, the Obama administration is forever hopeful. A reporter at Monday’s daily press meeting told Nuland that Morsi seems to be “basically saying, ‘Trust me; it’ll work out the good way.’ And this money and U.S. support would be contingent on that. At heart, do you trust him that it’ll come out the good way?”
 
Nuland repeated that his power grab raises “concerns” but the “very murky, uncertain period in terms of the legal and constitutional underpinnings… makes it all the more important that the process proceed on the basis of democratic dialogue and consultation.”
 
The dialogue so far is taking place through violence. Early Tuesday afternoon, protesters returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the center of the demonstrations that led to the ouster of Mubarak.
 
Protesters clashed with police and threw Molotov cocktails and stones in anger against Morsi’s power grab.
 
His Muslim Brotherhood movement had planned to rally in Cairo on Tuesday in support of the president but later called off the event to avoid confrontation.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Jihad to 'Free PA'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 23 November 2012 06:17
Israel-Egypt borderEgypt's Muslim Brotherhood is calling for a jihad (“holy war”) to liberate the Palestinian Authority areas. "Jihad is obligatory” for Muslims, top Islamic cleric Mohammed Badei said, adding that peace deals with Israel are a “game of grand deception".
 
Badei added that there have been enough negotiations and that the “enemy knows nothing but the language of force.” The Muslim Brotherhood and its members – of which Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is one – do not recognize and refuse to hold direct talks with the State of Israel.
 
The call came just one day after the Brotherhood's former presidential candidate, who won the national election in June, sealed a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
 
Brokered by Morsi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the agreement officially went into effect at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night.
 
Under the ceasefire, no terrorist group is to fire any rocket, missile or mortar shell at southern Israel. The Israeli army is to cease air strikes, and open the Gaza border crossings.
 
The crossings have been opened daily for extended hours on most days for nearly for a year, with some exceptions, in any event. They have been closed on major holidays and during high security incidents in which major threats are detected.
 
Although terrorist groups continued their rocket fire at southern Israeli cities and towns for several hours after – wounding a number of civilians and traumatizing countless others – by morning the skies were mostly quiet.
 
There were some sporadic terror attacks around the country, and alleged “erroneous activations” of Israel's Color Red incoming rocket alert siren in southern Israeli communities. 

Egypt Warned Israel that a Ground Op would End Peace

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 22 November 2012 15:24
Egyptian military helicopters flying during a display of military maneuvers in the eastern Sinai. AFPIsrael decided to refrain from a ground invasion of Gaza after it was warned that such a move could spell the end of the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, Channel 2 reported Thursday.
 
According to the report, Mossad Head Tamir Pardo, who went to Cairo as Israel's representative in the contacts that preceded the ceasefire, was told in messages from Cairo and from Washington that the peaceful relations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt were at risk.
 
In addition, Channel 2 reported that the Americans asked Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi to talk directly with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the ceasefire – but Morsi refused pointedly.
 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Channel 1 that some of the considerations behind the unpopular decision to agree to a ceasefire could not be made public. He said, however, that if the government's motivation had been political, it would have made the opposite decision.
 
Meanwhile, IDF Radio that the agreements have already been breached, just 24 hours after their formulation. About 200 Arabs rioted outside the Karara neighborhood and approached a breach in the security fence, where IDF soldiers were stationed.
 
Four of the rioters succeeded in crossing the fence, entered Israeli territory and waved a PLO flag. The soldiers fired in the air, and the riot ended.
 
The rioters were probably emboldened by the ceasefire agreement that cancels the IDF's self-declared "security zone" and allows them to approach the fence.

West Supports Israel, Urges Egypt to Work Towards Ceasefire

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 17 November 2012 15:57
Israeli tanks Western nations on Friday pushed Egypt to persuade Hamas terrorists to end rocket attacks from Gaza and backed Israel's right to self-defense, AFP reported.
 
The West stressed the onus was on Hamas to halt rocket fire into southern Israel, said the report.
 
"Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks. I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate," European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said, according to AFP.
 
She echoed hopes that Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, who crossed into Gaza for a brief visit Friday, "will be able calm the situation."
 
Washington has reached out to Egypt's new leaders as well as to allies such as Turkey to use their sway with Gaza’s Hamas leaders.
 
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is traveling in Asia, has spoken twice with her Egyptian counterpart, Mohammed Amr, since the start of the operation, with the second conversation taking place after Qandil's Gaza visit.
 
"In all of the conversations that she has had... we all agree on the need to de-escalate this conflict," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
 
Clinton was also expected to be in contact with "countries with influence, to try to maximize the pressure we can bring to bear on Hamas to cease and desist," Nuland added.
 
She again stressed the U.S. position that "Israel has a right of self-defense" and refused to be drawn on reports that the Israeli army was preparing for a ground operation in Gaza.
 
Speaking at Gaza City's Shifa hospital during his visit, Qandil vowed to step up Cairo's efforts to secure a ceasefire.
 
"Egypt will not hesitate to intensify its efforts and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and achieve a lasting truce," he told reporters on Friday.
 
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi also branded Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense as a "blatant aggression against humanity," the official MENA news agency said.
 
Morsi vowed that "Cairo will not leave Gaza on its own."
 
Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, often plays a mediator role between Israel and Hamas, and Morsi has been fielding calls from world leaders over the rising violence.
 
French President Francois Hollande expressed "deep concern" in a phone call with Morsi and "stressed the role Egypt could play to cut the tensions," the president's office said.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin also told the Egyptian leader that Moscow supported Egypt's efforts to halt the violence, the Kremlin said.
 
Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a heavyweight in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, told Morsi "that things must calm down and reason and wisdom must reign over passionate reactions," the state news agency SPA said.
 
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again attacked Israel on Friday and accused Israeli officials of ordering the air strikes as an electoral move ahead of January's vote.
 
"Ahead of this (new) vote, the current leadership once again chose the route of striking these innocent people of Gaza for made-up reasons," Erdogan said, according to the Anatolia news agency.
 
Pakistan also condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza and vowed to stand by the people of Palestine against "Israeli aggression," branding it a violation of international law, AFP reported.
 
Jordan's King Abdullah II told Clinton in a phone call that he was "deeply worried" about Israel's air strikes, a palace statement quoted by AFP said.
 
"Clinton telephoned the king, who said he was deeply worried about the dangerous repercussions of Israel's aggression on Gaza and its impact on the region," the statement added.
 
The king, whose country has a 1994 peace agreement with the Jewish State, "warned against Israel's military escalation, stressing that more international efforts are needed to stop it," the palace said.
 
Hamas terrorists continued their rocket attacks on Israel on Friday. According to statistics published by the IDF, since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense more than 550 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel. The Iron Dome system intercepted more than 192 rockets, and recorded an 85% success rate.
 
On Friday afternoon, sirens were heard in Tel Aviv and the area for the second dayrunning. Hamas immediately took credit for the attack, claiming to have shot “an improved Qassam.”
 
Rockets were also fired towards Jerusalem, hitting Gush Etzion, just south of the city. There were no physical injuries or damages.

Gaza Operation a 'Blatant Aggression'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 16 November 2012 14:07
Terrorists brandish RPG in GazaEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Friday Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza in as a "blatant aggression against humanity," the official MENA news agency said.
 
"Egypt will not leave Gaza on its own, and what is happening is a blatant aggression against humanity," he said, as his prime minister, Hisham Qandil, visited Gaza vowing to boost efforts to secure a truce to end the bloodletting.
 
Earlier on Friday, Qandil told reporters in Gaza, "Egypt will not hesitate to intensify its efforts and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and achieve a lasting truce," according to AFP.
 
He spoke after visiting casualties in Gaza's Shifa Hospital from Israel's Pillar of Defense counter-terror campaign.
 
On Friday morning, there were reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed to halt the military operation on terror sites in Gaza during Qandil’s visit.
 
An official said that Egypt requested the ceasefire and that the visit is supposed to last three hours.
 
However, while Israel stopped firing during Qandil’s visit, Hamas terrorists continued to fire rockets at Israel.
 
Friday’s rocket barrages continued to hit southern Israel but also were directed at Tel Aviv, for the second time in two days, and also at Jerusalem.
 
Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense, which began with the targeted killing of top Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari on Wednesday, sparked a furious response from Morsi, who promptly recalled Cairo's envoy to the Jewish state.

Morsi Recalls Ambassador to Israel

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 18:24
Egyptian embassador to IsraelIn a televised statement, presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said that Morsi has also summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo to convey Egypt's rejection of the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
 
"The president has ordered the Egyptian representative at the United Nations to call for an emergency meeting at the Security Council. In a phone call with the Arab League general-secretary, the president has also called for an emergency meeting for the Arab foreign ministers," Ali was quoted by the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram as having said.
 
The Egyptian move was a reaction to the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense which was launched Wednesday afternoon.
 
The IAF fired a missile at a car in Gaza, killing the commander of Hamas's "military" wing, Ahmed Jaabari.  The IAF then also struck launch silos for Hamas's longer-range Fajr rockets, which can hit central Israel, in order to preclude their use.
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a short news conference Wednesday evening in which they announced the goals of the operation. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the operation will be widened if necessary.
 
On Tuesday, even before the IDF operation in Gaza began, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the movement to which Morsi belongs, blamed Israel for escalating the situation in Gaza.
 
The statement by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party defined Israel as a “Zionist occupier” and a “racist state” while describing Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as being members of the “fringes of the extreme right.”

Top Defense Official Warns Against Egypt 'Dictatorship'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 02 November 2012 21:20
Amos GiladDefense Ministry security and diplomacy chief Amos Gilad warned on Friday against the radicalization of Egypt by its Muslim Brotherhood rulers.
 
"A shocking dictatorship grew in Egypt out of the desire for democracy,” Gilad said in a speech in front of students in Herzliya.
 
He said there is a disconnect between the political leadership in Israel and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
 
"There is no talking between our political leadership and the Egyptians and there will not be any, in my opinion. [Morsi] will not talk to us," said Gilad.
 
At the same time, he stressed that Israel must preserve the peace treaty with Egypt "at any cost."
 
Gilad added that Israel must also maintain a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority, even though he believes it will be impossible to reach a peace agreement.
 
“Without the Palestinian Authority, Hamas will rise up,” he said, adding, “We must make contact with them in order to preserve the security coordination.”
 
The Defense Ministry later distanced itself from Gilad’s remarks, saying in a statement that they do not reflect the positions of the security establishment nor do they reflect the positions of Gilad.
 
Gilad was merely expressing concern over possible upheaval in the Middle East and had no intention of interfering with internal Egyptian politics, the Defense Ministry clarified.
 
Earlier this week, the Ma’ariv newspaper reported that Egypt had rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries.
 
The report indicated that Israel was interested in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah a-Sisi.
 
However, Sisi refused and did not respond to several phone calls from Barak.
 
Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, despite opposition from his Muslim Brotherhood backers, who have called for a jihad (holy war) to "liberate" Jerusalem.
 
An adviser to Morsi recently called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in August that while he is pleased to hear of Morsi’s statements regarding Egypt’s commitment to abide by all international treaties, such affirmations are not merely by abstract ideals. He called on Morsi to come to Jerusalem.
 
While Morsi has made no indication he would be willing to visit Israel or meet Israeli officials, he recently sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in which he referred to the Israeli president as a "great friend."

Egypt Refuses to Upgrade Relations with Israel

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 12:33
Cairo rioters burn Israeli flagEgypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, according to a report on Monday in the Ma’ariv daily newspaper.
 
The report indicated that Israel was interested in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah a-Sisi.
 
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, reported Ma’ariv, also wanted to hold a dialogue at the director-generals level. Foreign Ministry Director Rafi Barak last month sent Egypt a request to visit Cairo and meet with his Egyptian counterpart.
 
The Egyptians, however, refused to set a date for the meeting due to the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Adha. Barak’s calls also went unanswered, Ma’riv reported, as Sisi did not respond to several phone calls from Barak. While Sisi is very familiar with Israel's top military brass as well as with Barak himself, he does not want to talk with the Israeli defense minister because of the sensitivity in Egypt with regard to Israel.
 
Another event indicating the high sensitivity in Egypt toward Israel is the cancellation or postponement of a visit by a high-level Egyptian delegation that was recently scheduled to arrive in Israel.
 
A foreign diplomat who is involved in the relations between the two countries told Ma'ariv, "The relations are currently on hold. The political situation in Egypt is very sensitive, and they will not agree to any change or upgrade beyond the levels that were customary during the time of Mubarak.”
 
Despite the fact that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi recently sent a new ambassador to Israel, the staff at the Israeli Embassy in Egypt have been working from a temporary site since protesters broke into the embassy building in Cairo, reported Ma’ariv. A new building to host the Israeli embassy has yet to be located, and the Israeli flag is not flying in Cairo. As well, the report said, the Israeli embassy is working with skeleton staff who stay in Cairo just three days a week, without spouses.
 
Egypt's president has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, despite opposition from his Muslim Brotherhood backers, who have called for a jihad (holy war) to "liberate" Jerusalem.
 
An adviser to Morsi recently called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
 
Last week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on President Barack Obama to publicly condemn  Morsi, after he attended a sermon where the preacher called for the "destruction and dispersal of the Jews."
 
At the same time, Morsi recently sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in which he referred to the Israeli president as a "great friend."

Morsi Condemns Israel Over Sudan Attack

Category: News
Created on Friday, 26 October 2012 18:33
Egypts President-elect Mohammed MursiEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi spoke on Thursday with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and condemned Tuesday's airstrike on a weapons factory in Khartoum.
 
During the conversation, Morsi told Bashir he condemned what he termed the "Israeli aggression against Sudan."
 
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal also telephoned Bashir to condemn the "barbarian attack” by Israel.
 
On Tuesday night, a huge fire broke out at an arms factory in Khartoum. Sudan said the fire was a result of an attack by four military planes. The country’s Culture and Information Minister blamed Israel for the attack, adding that evidence pointing to Israel was found among remnants of the explosives.
 
The country’s envoy to the UN later demanded that the UN Security Council condemn Israel over the attack on the weapons factory.
 
Israel did not officially comment on the incident, but a retired Israeli defense official told Reuters on Thursday that Israel has been monitoring arms trafficking through Sudan in an attempt to "stem the flow of arms (to Sinai and Gaza) without triggering major confrontations.”
 
Foreign intelligence sources told the Reuters news agency that Israel had also carried out an unmanned drone raid on a convoy south of Khartoum. The sources claimed the strike destroyed 200 tons of munitions, including rockets, that were intended for Gaza.
 
In May, Sudan suggested that Israel was involved in an explosion that killed a suspected arms smuggler in the eastern Sudanese city of Port Sudan.
 
Last December, news outlets in Sudan claimed that Israeli fighter jets, helicopters and possibly a submarine were involved in multiple attacks on targets in the country.
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would not comment on the latest incident, saying at a news conference on Thursday that Israel had nothing to say about the explosion.

Morsi Stands Up for 'Palestinians'

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 25 October 2012 08:16
Mohamed Mursi attends a meeting with Hamas leader Khaled MeshaalEgypt’s President Mohammed Morsi said on Wednesday that Egypt does not accept nor can turn a blind eye to any aggression against Palestinian Authority Arabs, the state-owned news agency MENA reported.
 
“We don’t accept that people of Palestine are besieged,” Morsi was quoted as having said during an Endowments Ministry celebration of Preachers’ Day.
 
He explained that Egypt after the revolution would never consent to any aggression over PA Arabs, alluding to former President Hosni Mubarak, who some accused of turning a blind eye to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.
 
Morsi stressed that Egypt supports PA Arabs with food and medications, adding that “the Palestinian case is pivotal for us.”
 
"We do not declare war on anyone. Palestinian rights will not be lost, we are in the same trench with our kin [Palestinians] against any aggression toward them," he said.
 
Morsi did not mention the fact that Gaza-based terrorists had fired more than 80 rockets at southern Israel between Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.
 
Three people were wounded, two of them seriously, and three homes were hit in the morning rocket barrage. On Wednesday night there were conflicting reports regarding a supposed Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that was reached between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel.
 
Concerns have been raised over the Israel-Egypt peace treaty since Morsi took power.
 
Morsi, a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo, but the Brotherhood has also said there is room to revise the accords.
 
Last week, an adviser to Morsi called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
 
This week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on President Barack Obama to publicly condemn  Morsi, after he attended a sermon where the preacher called for the "destruction and dispersal of the Jews."
 
At the same time, Morsi recently sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in which he referred to the Israeli president as a "great friend."

Morsi Won't Change Peace Treaty Unilaterally, Claims Carter

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 23:44
jimmy carterEgypt's President Mohamned Morsi has "suggestions" for a change to his country's peace treaty with Israel, but will not implement them unilaterally, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said on Tuesday, according to AFP.
 
"I have talked with President Morsi about the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt... and he has assured me that it would be honored by Egypt," Carter was quoted as having said in Cairo.
 
"He has suggestions for change, he told me this, and he understands also that any change in the treaty has to be approved by both sides. If it is done unilaterally by Egypt or Israel, the treaty would be destroyed," added Carter.
 
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 at the White House witnessed by Carter, who was then president of the United States.
 
Morsi, a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo, but the Brotherhood has also said there is room to revise the accords.
 
Last week, an adviser to Morsi called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
 
The adviser, Mohammed Ismat Seif Al-Dawla, issued the call during a speech he delivered at a conference on “Camp David and its Impact on Egypt's National Security.” The presidential adviser said that in its current form, the historic treaty maintains the national security of the “Zionist enemy” more than it helps Egypt's national security.
 
Ties between the two countries have been strained over the issue of security in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which has increasingly become a haven for terrorists who use the area as a launching ground for attacks against Israeli civilians living in the south of the country, and IDF soldiers.
 
Israel has urged Egypt to tackle the growing lawlessness in Sinai, and Cairo has responded by boosting its military presence in the area where the attack took place.
 
Cairo launched an unprecedented military operation in Sinai after terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in an attack on August 5. Israel has warned that it expects Cairo to withdraw the military reinforcements once the operation is over, in accordance with the peace treaty.
 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has dismissed any possibility of altering the treaty. 
 
“There is not the slightest possibility that Israel will accept the modification of the peace treaty with Israel," he said last month. "We will not accept any modification of the Camp David Accords.”
 
Carter’s remarks on Egypt were made one day after he condemned Israel, saying the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fading into a crisis.
 
Carter told a news conference in Jerusalem on Monday said the Israeli-PA peace process has reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government was not interested in pursuing a two-state solution.
 
He claimed that continued construction in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and areas of Jerusalem restored to the capital during the 1967 Six Day War is making the prospect of peace less and less likely.

Egyptians: We Want Nuclear Bombs and to Break Treaty with Israel

Category: News
Created on Monday, 22 October 2012 11:57
Atomic bombMost Egyptians want their country and Iran to have nuclear weapons, and they also favor renewing ties with Tehran and breaking off relations with Israel, according to a poll by The Israel Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group.
 
Eighty-seven percent of the respondents want Egypt to have its own nuclear bomb, and Iran is more than happy to lend Cairo a hand.  "We are ready to help Egypt to build nuclear reactors and satellites," Iran’s deputy defense minister said when Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi visited Iran last month.
 
Sixty-two percent of those polled agreed that “Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are friends of Egypt.” 
 
The results of the poll belie an impression Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been trying to spread. He visited Iran several weeks ago but denied he is considering renewing ties with Iran, after more than three decades of a freeze following the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and the Islamic Revolution.
 
Cairo's new ambassador to Israel told President Shimon Peres last week that Egypt will retain the peace treaty, but Morsi's advisers have spoken more assertively against the peace treaty, echoing Morsi's own anti-Israeli statements during his campaign for president.
 
The Israel Project poll, widely headlined in Iran’s state-controlled media, revealed that 65 percent of Egyptians back renewed diplomatic ties with Iran and that 61 percent support Iran’s nuclear development. Three years ago, a similar poll showed that only 41 percent of Egyptians backed Iran’s nuclear project.
 
The only sour note towards Iran was the view of 68 percent of the respondents who expressed an unfavorable view of Shi’ite Muslims.
 
Israel Project CEO Josh Block told The Foreign Policy “Cable” that a nuclear Iran would set off a regional race for nuclear weapons.
 
"Very scary to people opposed to proliferation of nuclear weapons, let alone to unstable countries in the world's most turbulent part of the world, is the 87 percent who want Egypt to build nuclear weapons," he said. "Morsi’s dangerous embrace of Iran is leading a surprising shift in favor of support for Tehran,” which Egyptians formerly saw as a threat.
 
The respondents also clearly opposed Cairo’s retaining diplomatic ties with Israel, with 74 percent wanting a break, nearly three times as many as in a 2009 poll, when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was in office.
 
Seventy-seven percent agreed that "The peace treaty with Israel is no longer useful and should be dissolved."
 
More than two-thirds of the respondents also said that President Barack Obama favors Israel more than Arabs, and 60 percent thought that the Obama administration has been "a negative thing" for the Arab world.

Egypt Warns Police of Jihad Ops in Southern Sinai

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 18 October 2012 08:07
sinaiEgypt's Interior Ministry has raised the alert level for its security forces in southern Sinai due to a warning over possible jihadist operations in the area.
 
The ministry warned local police stations and security personnel Tuesday to be alert to potential attacks on tourists in the area by terrorists from the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group.
 
The organization announced it would seek revenge for the recent targeted assassination by Israel of two of its operatives in Gaza, Abu al Waleed al Maqdisi (Hisham al-Saedini) former emir of the Tawhid wal-Jihad group in Jerusalem, and Ashraf al-Sabah (Abu al-Bara'a al-Maqdisi), former emir of Ansar al Sunnah.
 
In a statement obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the organization, also known as “Ansar Jerusalem,” said, “We in Ansar Jerusalem say to the Jews that the blood of our brothers in Palestine is our blood and their revenge is ours, and the blood of Abu al-Waleed and Abu al-Bara'a will not go in vain without repayment. It is retaliation and just punishment against your blood and security, so wait for our response and the pain of our revenge.”
 
The group is also thought to be responsible for numerous attacks over the past year against Israel, including one on September 21, 2012, and on August 18 2011 near Eilat, as well as many rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel, fired from Gaza.
 
Terror and kidnapping attacks frequently are carried out around holiday times, and against unwary tourists. The Egyptian Interior Ministry said its security measures come as a precaution in advance of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the celebration of the near-sacrifice of the Biblical Ishmael by the patriarch Abraham. Muslims believe that it was Ishmael, and not his brother Isaac, who was offered as a sacrifice to G-d by Abraham, and who was saved at the last minute by an angel.
 
Police turned to local Bedouin in deeper valleys in the area who could spot suspicious individuals. according to a report published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, translated by the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA). They asked for cooperation in identifying potential jihadist activity in the area that might be emanating from northern Sinai.
 
Although no jihadists have been detected, a security source said information had indeed been received that terrorists planned an attack.
The state of alert was announced in El-Arish three days prior, according to Sinai activist Mohamed al-Tablaoui, who added that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis' threats should be taken seriously. The group has previously carried out its vows of revenge in the wake of targeted assassinations against its leaders, he said.
 
Egyptian presidential adviser Mohammed Ismat Seif Al-Dawla on Monday urged his government to amend the peace treaty signed in 1979 with Israel. The Cairo aide claimed that changing the peace treaty is important to help Egypt restore control over the lawless Sinai Peninsula, where terrorists have established training and operational bases from which to carry out attacks against Israel as well as against Egyptian and Jordanian citizens and interests.
 
Last month Yasser Ali, a spokesman for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi told reporters in New York during the United Nations General Assembly that Egypt has the troops it needs in the Sinai to restore security, and "will continue until success is achieved."

Morsi Adviser Calls to Change Israel Peace Treaty

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 20:46
Buses preparing to carry terrorist prisonersEgyptian presidential adviser Mohammed Ismat Seif Al-Dawla has called to urgently change the peace treaty signed in 1979 with Israel.
 
Al-Dawla, an aide to President Mohammed Morsi, issued the call during a speech he delivered Monday at a conference on “Camp David and its Impact on Egypt's National Security.” The presidential adviser said that in its current form, the historic treaty maintains the national security of the “Zionist enemy” more than it helps Egypt's national security.Mohammed Ismat Seif Al-Dawla
 
The Cairo government aide claimed that amending the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel is important to help restore Egyptian control over the lawless Sinai Peninsula, where terrorists have established training and operational bases from which to carry out attacks against Israel -- and sometimes against Egyptian and Jordanian citizens and interests as well. The Egyptian natural gas pipeline has been attacked and natural gas supplies to both Jordan and Israel were disrupted due to terrorist sabotage from the Sinai no less than 15 times in a little over a year.
 
Al-Dawla was quoted last month by the independent Dostor daily newspaper as saying he was soon present Morsi with a proposal to amend the 1979 treaty, based on “popular demand and a strategic and security need.”
 
In response, a spokesman for the Egyptian president said there is currently no need to amend the peace treaty with Israel. Speaking from New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the time, spokesman Yasser Ali said Egypt has the troops it needs in the Sinai to restore security and will continue until success is achieved.
 
"With all due respect to all political and intellectual luminaries on the presidential advisory panel, only the president and his spokesman speak for the presidency,” Ali said, according to the state news agency MENA.
 
A week prior, Al-Dawla had also told the el-Gareeda newspaper that Cairo gives Washington more than it receives, according to the Egypt State Information Service (Cairo). He was also quoted as saying that Egypt has never been an ally of the United States.
 
The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement which Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi belongs to, called last Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. Although Morsi has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties previously signed by Cairo, there have been multiple calls from his own Muslim Brotherhood backers, and others in the country, to "revise" the accords.

Egypt Foiled Plot to Assassinate Morsi

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:47
Newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi ReutersEgyptian security forces raided the home of a man who planned to assassinate Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during his visit to Alexandria last Friday, the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported Tuesday.
 
The motive for the attempted murder of the Muslim Brotherhood president is not yet known.
 
Police arrested the suspect and confiscated ammunition, explosives, maps of Morsi’s route during a visit, and communications and eavesdropping equipment.
 
The murder of Morsi would send shock waves throughout the region and probably spark a resumption of the violence that has plagued Egypt since the Arab Spring rebellions last year that resulted in the ouster and later the arrest of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
 
The Islamic parties of the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood won a solid majority in ensuing elections to the parliament, and Morsi won the Muslim Brotherhood bid for presidency.
 
The first months of his regime have been marked by a continuation of the brute force exercised by the police under Mubarak and the temporary military regime.
 
Police on Sunday assaulted disabled citizens as they sat in their wheelchairs during a protest Sunday to demand benefits they said are being denied despite guarantees by law.
 
The Cairo-based Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims recently reported 34 cases of death, 88 cases of torture, and seven cases of sexual assault by Egyptian police during Morsi's first 100 days in office, according to Al Ahram.
 
Many of the deaths were the result of the use of live fire by police trying to disperse demonstrations. Torture and abuse as well as the kidnapping of at least eight political activists were also recorded.
 
Dr. Magda Adly, director of El-Nadim Center, told the newspaper he believes police torture tactics have not changed since the days of Mubarak.
 
"On the contrary, there is a retaliation attitude used by the police while torturing activists. However, authorities continue to deny any torture is being used," said Adly. “[There is] no difference between the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party."

Muslim Brotherhood's Top Sheikh Urges Jihad for Jerusalem

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 11 October 2012 15:20
Badie left in Cairo graffiti - ReutersThe supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement which Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi belongs to, called on Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.
 
"Jerusalem is Islamic ... and nobody is entitled to make concessions" on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters, according AFP.
 
"The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims," he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City "will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations."
 
Jerusalem Old CityIsrael, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has watched with concern as Islamists were catapulted to the forefront of politics following a popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year.
 
Morsi has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo. But there have also been multiple calls from Cairo to "revise" the accords.
 
The United States under Barack Obama appeared to throw Mubarak under a bus and to almost welcome the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover, a fact that has served to heighten Israel's anxiety over the future stability of the region.

Morsi in Turkey, Calls for Support for Syria and 'Palestine'

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 30 September 2012 16:38
Morsi speaks in Turkey - ReutersEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday discussed several pressing regional issues in an address delivered at an annual conference of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.
 
"Our history, hopes and goals bind us together to achieve the freedom and justice that all nations are struggling for," Morsi said during a short visit to Ankara, according to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram.
 
Morsi, on his first visit to Turkey as Egypt's president, urged members of the audience to support "the nations that are aspiring to freedom and independence."
 
“The Arab world and the Arab Spring need you and your support to achieve sought-for stability,” he said, according to Al-Ahram.
 
Egypt, he went on, "supports the demand of the people for freedom from oppression and occupation in both Syria and Palestine," stressing Turkey's role as an "important element" in issues of concern to the region.
 
Morsi also condemned the "misery" imposed on the Syrian people and the "bloodshed caused by the Syrian regime."
 
"The Syrian people have the right to choose their leaders," said the Egyptian president. "And this can only be achieved when they obtain their full freedom on their own soil and have our full support."
 
Morsi also expressed his hope for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, urging his listeners to support “the Palestinian national cause.”
 
He also stressed that the border between Egypt and Hamas-run Gaza remained open "to meet our obligations to our brothers in Gaza."
 
Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal also attended the conference in Turkey, along with several members of the Gaza government, Al-Ahram reported.
 
"In Egypt, we aspire for stability, security and productivity," Morsi declared in his speech. "The Egyptian people are now on the path towards national revival and the establishment of a true civilization for the nation."
 
He went on to reject any outside interference in Egypt's domestic affairs.
 
The speech comes amid reports earlier on Sunday that Morsi has expressed willingness to meet top Israeli officials. According to the Yisrael Hayom newspaper which published the report, his preference would be to meet with President Shimon Peres.
 
The report said that if such a meeting takes place it would occur in Washington, shortly after the U.S. election. During the meeting, the two officials would attempt to set a new basis for the sour relations between Israel and Egypt, which nearly fell apart after an Egyptian mob stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo last year.
 
Last week, in his address to the United Nations, Morsi hit out at Israel over its veiled threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and the deadlock in the Middle East peace process.
 
Morsi said the Middle East "no longer tolerates" any country's refusal to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "especially if this is coupled with irresponsible policies or arbitrary threats."
 
"The acceptance by the international community of the principle of pre-emptiveness or the attempt to legitimize it is in itself a serious matter and must be firmly confronted to avoid the prevalence of the law of the jungle," he said.
 
Morsi also put the Israel-Arab conflict ahead of the Syria war in the list of priorities he laid out before the General Assembly.
 
"The first issue which the world must exert all its efforts in resolving, on the basis of justice and dignity, is the Palestinian cause," Morsi said.
 
He said that UN resolutions on the conflict had not been implemented and that Palestinian Authority Arabs "must also taste the fruits of freedom and dignity" that other countries in the Arab region have won in the past year.

Morsi Hits Out at Israel Over Iran and Peace

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:46
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the United Nations General Assembly - AFPEgypt's new president on Wednesday hit out at Israel over its veiled threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and the deadlock in the Middle East peace process, AFP reports.
 
President Mohammed Morsi received a rousing ovation for his first speech to the 193-member UN General Assembly since becoming Egypt's first civilian, democratically elected leader in June.
 
Morsi said the Middle East "no longer tolerates" any country's refusal to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "especially if this is coupled with irresponsible policies or arbitrary threats."
 
"The acceptance by the international community of the principle of pre-emptiveness or the attempt to legitimize it is in itself a serious matter and must be firmly confronted to avoid the prevalence of the law of the jungle," Morsi said, according to AFP.
 
Morsi also put the Israel-Arab conflict ahead of the Syria war in the list of priorities he laid out before the General Assembly.
 
"The first issue which the world must exert all its efforts in resolving, on the basis of justice and dignity, is the Palestinian cause," Morsi said.
 
He said that UN resolutions on the conflict had not been implemented and that Palestinian Authority Arabs "must also taste the fruits of freedom and dignity" that other countries in the Arab region have won in the past year.
 
"It is shameful that the free world accepts, regardless of the justifications provided, that a member of the international community continues to deny the rights of a nation that has been longing for decades for independence," Morsi said.
 
"It is also disgraceful that settlement activities continue on the territories of these people," he added.
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are to address the General Assembly on Thursday. Abbas has announced that he will ask the UN General Assembly to recognize a “state of Palestine” during has address.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of nuclear "intimidation" in his final speech to the UN General Assembly.
 
"Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," Ahmadinejad said in a rare outburst in the rambling 35 minute speech.
 
"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he added in his only reference to Israel.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama told the UN assembly on Tuesday that the United States will "do what we must" to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
 
Netanyahu addressed a letter to the citizens of Israel Wednesday just before he boarded a flight to New York. In it, he castigated the UN delegates who chose to remain in the UN General Assembly hall as Ahmadinejad spoke.
 
"On the eve of Yom Kippur, a day that the Jewish people holds sacred, the Iranian dictator chose to call for our disappearance in public, with the entire world watching. This is a black day for those who chose to remain in the hall and hear these hateful words. In my speech before the representatives of nations at the UN General Assembly, they will hear our response,” Netanyahu wrote.

U.S. Should Show Respect for Arab Values

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 22 September 2012 21:42
Mohamed Mursi attends a meeting with Hamas leader Khaled MeshaalOn the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.
 
In a 90-minute interview with The New York Times on Saturday, Morsi said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
 
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
 
Morsi dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall in Cairo and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the prophet Mohammed.
 
“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.
 
“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger.
 
Morsi, who will travel to New York on Sunday for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, told The New York Times that the United States should not expect Egypt to live by its rules.
 
“If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment,” he said. “When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.”
 
He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as former President Hosni Mubarak was either.
 
“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over Palestinian Authority Arabs.
 
When asked if he considered the United States an ally in the wake of recent comments by President Barack Obama who said he did not consider Egypt an ally but did not consider it an enemy,. Morsi answered in English, “That depends on your definition of ally.”
 
He said he envisioned the two nations as “real friends.”
 
Morsi praised Obama for moving “decisively and quickly” to support the Arab Spring revolutions, and he said he believed that Americans supported “the right of the people of the region to enjoy the same freedoms that Americans have.”
 
Arabs and Americans have “a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion,” he said, adding that he hoped for “a harmonious, peaceful coexistence.”
 
At the same, he also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for PA Arabs because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord which called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Judea and Samaria and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.
 
“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.
 
Morsi made no apologies for his roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, saying, “I grew up with the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned my principles in the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned how to love my country with the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned politics with the Brotherhood. I was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
 
He left the group when he took office but remains a member of its political party. But he said he sees “absolutely no conflict” between his loyalty to the Brotherhood and his vows to govern on behalf of all, including members of the Christian minority or those with more secular views.
 
“I prove my independence by taking the correct acts for my country,” he said. “If I see something good from the Muslim Brotherhood, I will take it. If I see something better in the Wafd” — Egypt’s oldest liberal party — “I will take it.”
 
He repeatedly vowed to uphold equal citizenship rights of all Egyptians, regardless of religion, sex or class, while standing by the religious arguments he once made as a Brotherhood leader that neither a woman nor a Christian would be a suitable president.

New Axis of Evil: Egypt’s Intelligence Head Met with Iranian Spy

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:37
Morad-Muafi-Head-of-Intelligence-leftA recent secret meeting between the head of Egyptian intelligence and a senior Iranian spy offers new evidence of 
 
Cairo’s Muslim Brotherhood government having joined the “axis of evil.”
 
Murad Muwafi, head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, met in early August with a senior official of 
 
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, investigative journalist Bill Gertz wrote in the Washington Free 
 
Beacon Tuesday night.
 
He noted that the Obama administration continues to maintain close ties with Egypt, its major ally in the Middle 
 
East after Israel, and plans to offer the new government an additional $1 billion in aid.
 
Muwafi met with an Iranian spy was identified only by his last name, Gerami, setting off security concerns “because 
 
the Iranian spy service is a key player in Tehran’s international support for terrorism, as well as anti-U.S. and 
 
anti-Israel operations,” Gertz wrote.
 
Coincidentally or not, Muwafi was sacked from his position shortly afterwards, either because of the meeting or 
 
possibly bookcase of Egypt’s failure to heed advance warnings of the August 5 terrorist attack that killed 16 
 
Egyptian security personnel and which almost succeeded in crossing into Israel. The terrorists were eliminated 
 
before they could carry out plans to kill Israelis.
 
Asked about the Egyptian-Iranian intelligence meeting, a U.S. official told the Free Beacon, “The Egyptians are 
 
still skeptical of Iranian motives. There’s a lot of baggage to overcome with Tehran, so for now any efforts to 
 
expand outreach and build a new relationship are likely to be cautious and fairly limited.”
 
Nevertheless, the seeds of a Cairo’s actively joining the Iranian-Syrian-Hizbullah-axis have been planted.
 
Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi recently visited Iran and officially broker a 30 year-freeze in ties between the 
 
two countries. He denied Cairo was officially opening an embassy in Tehran, which openly welcomed the visit.
 
The formerly outlawed Muslim Brotherhood party won a plurality of seats in the legislature and formed a coalition 
 
with an even more radical party of Salafists. They are in a role-reversal situation, after having railed against 
 
Israel and the United States in the election campaign and now walking a tightrope to maintain Washington’s support 
 
without angering opposite elements as well as their own followers who want a break in relations with Israel and 
 
dependence on American aid.
 
Thousands of protesters Monday night stomped the U.S. embassy in Cairo and tore down the American flag in a protest 
 
against an American film that they said insults Islam.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood government has freed hundreds of radical fundamentalists who preach against Israel and the 
 
West and promote jihad.

Morsi to Assad: Time to Step Down

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 06 September 2012 18:29
Morsi talks at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo - RutersEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi called on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down on Wednesday.
 
Morsi spoke at the annual meeting of the Cairo-based Arab League. The session was jointly headed by Morsi and Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour.
 
According to a report in Al-Ahram, Morsi in his speech asserted that it was “time for the Syrian regime to step down,” stressing that it was an Arab responsibility to find a viable resolution to the ongoing crisis.
 
“We should help the Syrians avoid civil war and avert foreign military intervention,” Morsi said.
 
“I tell the Syrian regime: there is still a chance to end the bloodshed. Now is the time for change,” he added.
 
Morsi went on to say there was "no time to waste" in discussing proposed reforms, stressing that the Assad regime "has to leave to stop the carnage."
 
He also called on Assad to "take lessons from recent history," in reference to the fall of the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
 
“Do something and we'll support you,” Morsi told Arab diplomats before leaving the meeting.
 
Morsi’s comments were made on the same day that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled the Syrian regime a “terrorist state” that conducts massacres against its own people.
 
Erdogan made the statement to reporters at a news conference Wednesday following a meeting with his ruling AK Party (Justice and Development) in Ankara. "Syria is not an ordinary country to us,” he said. “We do not have the luxury to remain indifferent to what's happening there.”
 
Morsi also addressed the issue of the Palestinian Authority, telling Arab diplomats that PA Arabs continued to suffer under an "unjust occupation," and stressing that Arabs should support their struggle for an independent state.
 
“Egypt supports any initiative by the Palestinians that would help them earn membership in the United Nations,” Morsi said.
 
“Egypt bears responsibility for continuing its efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue,” he added.

Morsi, Ahmadinejad Did Not Discuss Renewing Ties

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:28
Morsi shakes hands with Ahmadinejad - RutersThe spokesperson for Egypt’s President, Yasser Ali, said on Friday that the meeting Thursday between President Mohammed Morsi and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned summit in Tehran, did not address the issues of bilateral relations or raising the level of diplomatic representation between the two countries.
 
Ali told the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that the meeting did not discuss the issue of opening the Egyptian Embassy in Tehran, and the re-normalization of relations between the two sides, but focused on the issues on the regional arena.
 
He quoted Morsi as having told Ahmadinejad, “The public opinion in the Arab region believes that Iran's support of the Syrian regime distances it from the Arab world.”
 
Ali added that Morsi reminded Ahmadinejad that the Arab people sided with the Iranian people when the Shah attacked them with tanks. Morsi was likely referring to the crackdown on demonstrators by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1978, during the demonstrations that eventually toppled him.
 
The Iranian website PressTV reported that Ahmadinejad and Morsi described the two countries as “strategic allies” during the meeting.
 
According to the report, Ahmadinejad referred to Egypt as “Iran's strategic ally” and expressed the interest of the Iranian nation and government in enhancing cooperation and friendly relations with the Egyptian government and nation.
 
Morsi’s visit to Tehran was a cause for concern that he would solidify the “terror axis” of Iran – Hizbullah, Syria and Hizbullah-dominated Lebanon in the north and Hamas to the south of Israel.
 
An official with the Muslim Brotherhood claimed this week that the visit is aimed at pressuring Iran to stop supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
 
The movement’s Secretary General Dr. Mahmoud Hussein said that Morsi would raise the Syrian issue in his talks with the Iranian leadership and demand that Iran cease its military, economic and political support of Assad.
 
Ali said last week that Egypt and Iran won’t be reinstating normal diplomatic relations any time soon.
 
Ali said that Morsi’s visit to Tehran for the Non-Alignment Summit is protocol, not a sign of changing diplomacy.

Egyptian Official: The Balance of Military Power Will Change

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:10
israel-f-16-jets-parkedA senior Egyptian security official said on Thursday that the balance of military power in the Middle East will change significantly in the near future, following a visit by President Mohammed Morsi in China this week.
 
The official, who spoke to the Arab website Al-Moheet, said that during his visit to China, Morsi signed a series of security agreements which will produce a new military reality in the Middle East. The comments were translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi.
 
“Wait and see the Eagles of Egypt in their new clothing,” the official warned Egypt’s neighboring countries. “They will be protected by missiles which will hit our enemies, even if they are a thousand miles away.”
 
The Egyptian Air Force, said the official, is expected to dramatically upgrade its capabilities, equipment, aircraft and personnel training, in cooperation with China. He said the upgrade will surprise all parties in the Middle East and North Africa. The Egyptian air defense forces will be able defend the Egyptians against any aggression, he said.
 
Egypt launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism in response to a recent attack on Egyptian officers. Egyptian police last week said they had identified 120 individuals in North Sinai who are wanted for attacking police stations and killing policemen. A security source in the area said that there are close to 1,600 terrorists in the area.
 
Israel reportedly became concerned after Egypt moved anti-aircraft missiles into the Sinai Peninsula without Israel’s permission. Such equipment is prohibited in Sinai by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
 
An Egyptian military source later denied that his country was deploying troops in Sinai beyond the limitations stipulated in the 1979 Camp David Accords.
 
Morsi hinted this week that his country's military operation in Sinai is being carried out in a way that fully honors international agreements.
 
Morsi said that Egypt threatens no one, and that its forces' presence in Sinai should not be a cause for concern on the regional or international levels.
 
He also said that the peace treaty with Israel will remain intact, but refrained from saying whether he would agree to meet any Israeli leaders.

Egypt Kills 11 Sinai Terrorists

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 07:44
Egypt Deployed anti aircraftEgyptian soldiers killed 11 terrorists in the Sinai and confiscated weapons, according to Egyptian television, quoted by Voice of Israel government radio.
 
The report, which also stated that 23 terrorists were captured, along with Israeli-made ammunition, was confirmed by the defense ministry. Only one day earlier, an Egyptian newspaper reported that President Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood party, secured a ceasefire agreement with terrorist leaders.
 
Cairo said Wednesday it will escalate its war on terror in the Sinai Peninsula, where Bedouin, Hamas and Al Qaeda-linked terrorists have exploited a vacuum of power and taken control of large areas.
 
After terrorists killed 16 Egyptian border guards in early August, Egypt began moving in tanks and aircraft, in violation of the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel that prohibits a military buildup in the Sinai without Israeli approval.
 
Morsi has insisted that the deployment is in Israel’s interest because it is aimed at terrorists and not at a future military attack on Israel, which has bitter memories of the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Egypt rolled its tanks into the Sinai and southern Israel while Syria attacked from the north.
 
The Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel from Gaza on the west to Eilat on the east, is fertile ground for Bedouin terrorists, many of whom have aligned with Hamas and  Al Qaeda cells. They have been a source of smuggling of drugs, terrorists, weapons and migrant workers from Africa.
 
One tribe was reported to have handed over to the Egyptian army a large cache of weapons and ammunition on Sunday. The size of the arsenal in the Sinai was indicated by the Egyptian Interior Ministry’s announcement that it has seized more than 20,000 weapons over the past several months.

Netanyahu Tells Egypt: Keep Tanks out of Sinai

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 11:06
Egyptian soldiers and APC in Sinai (Reuters)Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has demanded that Egypt cease sending tanks into the Sinai without Israel's approval, a “blatant violation” of the 1979 peace treaty, the Maariv Hebrew-language website reported Tuesday.
 
Mark Regev, spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister, told Arutz Sheva, “We are not commenting” on the report.
 
An Egyptian newspaper reported that local Bedouin claimed that Egypt already has sent dozens of tanks to the northern Sinai, near the Israeli border. The report has not been confirmed, and most other media outlets have reported that Egypt is preparing to send in tanks, planes and additional soldiers to combat rampant terror.
 
Al Qaeda-linked terror cells, Bedouin and Hamas terrorists have taken control of the Sinai Peninsula in recent years, particularly since the end of the Mubarak regime.
 
A source close to Prime Minister Netanyahu told Maariv the planned buildup, if it already has not taken place, is “a blatant violation of the peace treaty.”
 
The Obama administration wields influence over Egypt because of its $1.3 billion annual aid to Cairo, and the office of Prime Minister Netanyahu has appealed to the White House to pressure Egypt to stop the deployment.
 
Israel knows that it is to its benefit if the new Egyptian regime can defeat terrorists in the area, but it also fears that Egypt will not be successful and that terrorists could gain possession of tanks.
 
Another concern is that Egypt would maintain its new military presence for an unlimited amount of time and establish “facts on the ground: that would represent a de facto change in terms of the treaty, which requires Israeli approval for additional forces.
 
An unstated concern of almost every Israeli who remembers the Yom Kippur War is that a renewed Egyptian military presence in the Sinai could set the stage for another war, especially if Iran or Hizbullah attacks from the north.
 
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi is scheduled to visit Iran next week to re-establish ties with Tehran, despite the objections of the United States.
 
Former Obama administration Middle East envoy Dennis Ross wrote in The Washington Post Monday that the U.S. must make clear to Egypt that if it continues to violate its commitments under the Camp David Accords, it would jeopardize its U.S. funding.  
 
Ross said that Egypt's current rulers, the Muslim Brotherhood, must “come to terms with reality,” that they were committed to the Accords. He said that the denial by Egyptian President Morsi that he had responded to a letter of congratulations sent to him by President Shimon Peres, and the attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to blame the Mossad for the Sinai terror attack, prove that the group cannot tolerate any circumstances that contradicts its philosophy.

Egypt Warms Up to Iranian Terror Axis, Morsi to Visit Tehran

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 19 August 2012 11:19
Mohammed Morsi meets Hamid Baghai Iranin VPEgypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi is to visit Tehran this month after a 32-year break in ties between the two Muslim countries and only three weeks after hosting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
 
Morsi plans to attend the so-called Non-Aligned Movement meetings Aug. 30, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency. Egypt currently heads the Movement, and Iran will take over the rotating presidency at this month’s conference.
 
Cairo and Tehran broke off relations after the overthrow of the Shah in the Islamic Revolution and Egypt’s recognition of Israel in 1979.
 
Iran was accused by Egyptian officials in the Mubarak regime of trying to sow unrest in the country. Iran has shown interest in renewing ties, a move that might give it more political and diplomatic clout in its effort to achieve nuclear capability.
 
Morsi allegedly told an Iranian news agency after he was elected president that he wanted to restore relations, but he denied having granted the interview.
 
A visit by Morsi would solidify the “terror axis” of Iran – Hizbullah, Syria and Hizbullah-dominated Lebanon in the north and Hamas to the south of Israel. Turkey briefly joined the axis two years ago but has turned against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
 
Morsi’s intended visit to Iran will come at the same time he is trying to convince Israel and the West that he has good intentions towards Israel.                                                       

Did Morsi Fire Defense Officials Because of a Planned Coup?

Category: Reports
Created on Thursday, 16 August 2012 19:31
Mohamed Mursi R Hussein Tantawi Cairo July 1 2012 ReutersTwo days after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi decided to order the retirement of Egypt's top generals, speculations in the country continued on Tuesday as to the motive behind the decision.
 
Channel 10 News reported that the latest speculation is that Morsi’s decision to fire Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Anan was due to the fact that the two were planning a coup against him.
 
The report said that Morsi fired the two men in order to take preventive measures, after receiving a request from several senior military officers, led by new Defense Minister Abdul-Fatah al-Sissi, who told him that Tantawi and Anan were planning to rob him of some of his authorities as president.
 
Al-Sissi and the officers claimed that the army intends to turn a planned million man protest, scheduled for next Friday, into a huge show of force against the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, they said, the army planned to hurt Morsi.
 
The report added that the Egyptian president heard this and rushed to respond by dismissing the two and appointing as defense minister the man who revealed the alleged plot against him.
 
Morsi’s decision on Sunday surprised both Israel and the United States, with the latter saying it has confidence in the new defense minister. In remarks he gave on Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “I spoke with Egypt’s new defense minister, General al-Sissi. He said he was committed to the principles of the peace agreement signed at Camp David and ensuring security in the Sinai Peninsula.”
 
Panetta added that al-Sissi “is a highly qualified officer who spent much time training in the U.S. General al-Sissi expressed his great commitment to the relations between Egypt and the United States.”
 
Earlier on Tuesday it was reported that Morsi will discuss, in coming days, making changes in the Camp David Accord signed with Israel.
 
Morsi’s advisor told a local newspaper in Egypt that the changes will allow Egypt "to implement its full sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula." 

Sinai Anarchy: Terrorists Kill Anti-Terror Tribal Chief

Category: News
Created on Monday, 13 August 2012 09:45
Egyptian security forces arrest suspected terrorist in the Sinai (Reuters)Reuters - A group of armed men shot dead a tribal leader and his son on Monday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on the border with Israel, a security source said, as violence escalated on the sixth day of a military crackdown on militants in the area.
 
"Tribal leader Khalaf Al-Menahy and his son were shot dead by militants on their way back from a conference organized by tribal leaders to denounce militancy," said the security source in Sinai.
 
The attack occurred during a security sweep that began on Wednesday after the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards last week, which Egypt blamed on terrorists.
 
The military operation is the biggest in the region since the Yom Kippur War that Egypt launched against Israel in 1973.
 
Lawlessness has been growing in Sinai, a region awash with guns and bristling with resentment against Cairo, since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in an uprising last year. Parts of northern Sinai have been controlled by Bedouin tribes and a growing number of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists since police deserted the area during the uprising.
 
Another source close to terrorists in Sinai said hundreds of them had organized a secret meeting on Sunday night to discuss their response to the killing of five Islamist terrorists by Egyptian soldiers earlier on Sunday.
 
"They agreed that the reaction will be harsh," the source said.
 
The military crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula is seen as an early test for Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi to prove he can rein in the militants whose activity near the border worries both Egyptians and Israel.
 
Morsi dismissed two top generals on Sunday, quashing a military order that had ruled the transition period after Mubarak and curbed Mursi's presidential powers. Last week, he fired North Sinai's governor and Egypt's intelligence chief.
 
Morsi's critics say the Islamist leader risks being seen as soft on jihadists because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to Hamas and the party’s anti-Israel platform.

Morsi: My Decisions Were Not Directed at Individuals

Category: News
Created on Monday, 13 August 2012 08:21
Newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi ReutersEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi said on Sunday that his decision to order the retirement of Egypt's top generals and cancel a military order that had curbed his powers was not directed at individuals or embarrassing institutions.
 
“The decisions I took today were not meant ever to target certain persons, nor did I intend to embarrass institutions, nor was my aim to narrow freedoms,” Morsi was quoted by Reuters as having said during a speech to mark the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
 
He added, “I did not mean to send a negative message about anyone, but my aim was the benefit of this nation and its people.”
 
Reuters reported that Morsi praised the work of the armed forces and said his decision would free them to focus on their military role.
 
Earlier on Sunday, Morsi sacked the entire leadership of Egypt’s defense establishment. Among the officials and officers fired are Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Chief of Staff Sami Anan.
 
Morsi appointed Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi as Defense Minister and Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed as Army Chief of Staff. A judge named Mahmoud Mekki was appointed vice president. Morsi also ordered the retirement of the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force. The retired navy commander, Lieutenant-General Mohan Mameesh, was named as chairman of the Suez Canal.
 
The decision took Israel by surprise, but Israeli officials predicted that despite the latest developments, it is unlikely that a dramatic turnaround in terms of the Egyptian attitude to Israel will be seen in the near future.

Morsi Fires Intelligence Chief, Sinai Governor

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:38
Morad-Muafi-Head-of-Intelligence-leftEgyptian president Mohammed Morsi has fired the Head of General Intelligence, General Morad Mu'afi, following the Sinai terror attack in which 16 policemen were killed.
 
"General Mohammed Morad Mu'afi has been fired and the resignation [sic] goes into force from today," proclaimed Morsi's spokesman, Yasser Ali, on Wednesday, on Egyptian state television. He explained that Mu'afi was dismissed following "the recent events" and "in order to defend the revolution."
 
General Mohammed Refat Shahata was appointed as a temporary replacement to Mu'afi.
 
Mu'afi reportedly met Morsi immediately after the terror attack and told him that while Egyptian intelligence had information about terrorists' intent to carry out an attack, no one believed Sunni Muslims would attack fellow Sunni Muslims as they broke their Ramadan fast.
 
Egyptian news sources also said that Morsi had sacked the governor of Sinai.

'Terrorists and Morsi have Identical Aims'

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:34
Ambassador Tzvi MazelFormer Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Tzvi Mazel told Arutz Sheva Tuesday that he does not believe the Egyptian government will take effective action against the terrorists who operate in Sinai.
 
"We must remember that the person running Egypt today is the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi," he explained. "The Muslim Brotherhood is the group that laid the foundations for today's radical Islam and Islamic terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood developed a theory that favors a return to 'the good old days' of the prophet Mohammed and establish a Muslim empire. Islamic law would be the constitution and then they would make an effort to conquer the world."
 
"The terrorists who came to carry out the attack from Sinai were raised upon the Muslim Brotherhood's fanatical theory," he said. "Morsi and the terrorists who carried out the attack have the same ideology and the same goal – to impose Islam on the Middle East and the entire world."
 
"Will the Muslim Brotherhood become pragmatic? Forget ideology and concentrate on Egypt? I do not believe that will happen. The radical Islamic ideology has been running in the blood of the Muslim Brotherhood for 80 years."
 
Mazel said that tough effective action by Egypt against the Sinai terrorists is unlikely. "Egypt thinks that Israel is responsible for Sinai and they do not want to take responsibility for what happens in Gaza as they clean up Sinai. If the Egyptians clean up Sinai, [Gaza] will become isolated and under Egypt's responsibility and therefore Egypt would prefer not to do that."

Morsi ‘Saying Right Things’ after Brotherhood Blames Israel

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 09:08
a burned Egyptian military vehicle that was seized by Islamist gunmen ReutersThe Muslim Brotherhood blames Israel for Sunday’s terrorist attack, but the U.S. State Dept. said that President Mohammed Morsi “is saying the right things.”
 
Morsi did not directly blame Israel, leaving that for his party’s officials while he vowed to avenge the deaths of 17 Egyptian soldiers killed by a group of approximately 35 terrorists.
 
The well-planned attack was ended by quick IDF aerial and tank maneuvers that blew up one of the terrorists’ vehicles as it sped with suicide bombers towards an Israeli farming community.
 
Egyptian soldiers also killed several of the terrorists inside its border.
 
U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, asked at the daily press briefing Monday to comment on the Brotherhood website’s statement that the attack “can be attributed to the [the] Mossad, “President Morsi is saying the right things.”
 
Pressed to answer if it is conceivable that the Israeli intelligence services could – would launch an attack on an Egyptian police station?.” Ventrell answered, “Doesn’t sound right to me.”Morsi shakes hands with Haniyeh  Ruters
 
He repeated previously stated concerns that “the security situation in Sinai is something that we’ve raised with Egyptian authorities, and added, “We stand ready to assist the government of Egypt as it acts on President Morsi’s pledge to secure the Sinai and address the threats of violent extremism and border security.”
 
He did not specify what assistance the United States would offer and declined to explain why Egypt has been unable to maintain security in the Sinai.
 
“We’ve seen significant change in Egypt through most of this transition” since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, “but in terms of Egypt consolidating itself and moving into its next chapter, there are still some areas that continue to need attention, and the security in the Sinai is one of those.”

Egyptian Official Confirms Morsi's Letter to Peres

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 02 August 2012 08:35
Egypts President-elect Mohammed MursiAn Egyptian official said on Wednesday that President Mohammed Morsi had indeed sent a letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres and that it was not appropriate that Morsi’s spokesman denied the letter had been sent.
 
Morsi’s letter, which came in response to a letter Peres sent to Morsi, thanked the Israeli president for his Ramadan greetings.
 
“I take this opportunity to reiterate that I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to getting the Middle East Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for peoples of the region, including the Israeli people,” Morsi added.
 
Egypt, however, denied that the letter had been sent. Dr. Yasser Ali, Morsi’s official spokesman, described reports of the letter in the Israeli media as completely incorrect and stressed that Morsi did not send any letter to Peres.
 
A senior Egyptian official suggested otherwise, telling the Egyptian daily Al Youm El Sabea that “the letter was indeed sent to Israeli President Shimon Peres through diplomatic channels, and it was not appropriate for the Egyptian president to deny it.”
 
The official, who was not named, added, “The letter was sent according to protocol in response to a letter that was received, which is what happens with all other letters. The presidential department of ceremonies responded to the letter and sent it to the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv, which then sent it to Peres’ office.”
 
Senior political officials in Israel said on Tuesday night that Egypt's denial that had been expected.
 
“The denial was expected in light of the tremendous public echo the letter has received in both Israel and Egypt, and there is no reason to be excited by it,” the officials said.

Egyptian Group Warns: Hamas is Dangerous

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 09:08
Morsi shakes hands with Haniyeh  RutersThe Justice and Development Organization for Human Rights in Egypt has called to release Gaza from under the rule of Hamas, which violently seized power in a 2007 coup.
 
The organization released a statement on Monday in the city of Minya, in which it argued that Hamas is an illegal entity and is the main reason for the split in the leadership of the Palestinian Authority as well as for the failure to achieve Palestinian statehood.
 
The organization also said that the strategic purpose of planting Hamas in Gaza is to realize Iran’s goal for the region, which is to establish a Shiite state extending all the way to Lebanon and Syria. The organization said that it is for this reason that Iran provides Hamas with financial and logistical support.
 
Nadi Atef, who heads the organization, condemned the frequent visits by Hamas’ leaders, headed by Khaled Mashaal, to Cairo after the recent election victory of Mohammed Morsi. Atef noted that Hamas was one of the allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, along with Hizbullah.
 
Atef warned against the transfer of weapons and missiles from Libya by the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas via the Sinai Peninsula and called to prevent a situation whereby the Sinai Peninsula would become Hamas's military base. According to Atef, vigilance is required against a scenario in which the Muslim Brotherhood will cooperate with the United States and with the consent of Hamas to settle PA Arabs in Sinai.
 
Ever since Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won the presidential election in Egypt, he has been tightening relations with Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Morsi has met with Mashaal, his deputy Musa Abu Marzouq and other members of Hamas’s politburo. During the meeting, Morsi stressed the importance he places on Egypt's support “for the Palestinian nation’s struggle to achieve its legitimate rights”, unifying the lines between Hamas and its longtime rival Fatah, supplying Gaza with fuel and electricity and easing the restrictions on the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
 
Last week Morsi met with Gaza’s de-facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Hamas has been asking Morsi to open up Egypt’s border with Gaza, but Morsi has yet to agree.
 
For the time being Egypt has eased the visa requirements for Gazans under 40 who want to travel to Egypt through the Rafiah border crossing into the Sinai.
 
Until now, residents of Gaza within that age bracket have been unable to travel without a visa due to security concerns.

Morsi meets with new PM Hisham Kandil Reuters

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 20:56
Morsi meets with new PM Hisham Kandil ReutersEgypt’s President Mohammed Morsi appointed Irrigation Minister Hisham Kandil as Egypt's prime minister-designate on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
 
The report said that critics of Morsi’s Islamist movement questioned his choice of a prime minister who they said lacked the clout to bridge deep political divisions.
 
Kandil’s appointment will allow Morsi to exert greater control over a day to day government that is still being overseen by a cabinet appointed last year by the military leadership which took power after former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. The military handed authority to Morsi on June 30.
 
“It's clear that Kandil wasn’t Morsi's first choice,” Shadi Hamid, a political analyst at the Brookings Doha Center, told Reuters. “The prime minister job at this juncture is not an attractive one for high-profile figures. It is a very risky one to accept.”
 
Kandil will need to move fast to address acute economic problems including a looming balance of payments crisis and unaffordable state borrowing costs.
 
The time it had taken Morsi to name his new prime minister underlined how Egypt is struggling to turn the new political freedom brought by the overthrow of Mubarak into an effective government.
 
Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood politician and the country's first civilian president, is seeking to stamp his authority on a state where the military that assumed power from Mubarak still looms large.
 
Highlighting the continued influence of the generals, Kandil said Morsi was in contact with them on the choice of the new defense minister, a post currently held by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who held the post under Mubarak.
 
Reuters quoted a spokesman for Morsi as having described Kandil as an "independent patriot" who had not belonged to a party either before or after the uprising against Mubarak.
 
Aged 49, according to a profile published by the official MENA news agency, Kandil is the youngest prime minister since Gamal Abdel Nasser, who came to power in 1954 as both head of state and head of government.
 
Kandil, speaking after a meeting with Morsi, promised a cabinet of technocrats, saying, “Competence will be the prime measure in choosing the ministers.”
 
Kandil said his first priority would be to implement Morsi's plan for his first 100 days in office, including easing traffic congestion and public cleanliness, while ending bread and fuel shortages.

Abbas and Egypt's Morsi Meet in Cairo

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 19 July 2012 21:38
Abbas and Morsi meetPalestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Egypt's newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo on Wednesday.
 
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that Abbas is in Cairo for two days, coinciding with a trip to the country by Hamas head Khaled Mashaal. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a part.
 
Both Fatah and Hamas said their leaders were in Egypt to discuss the stalled reconciliation process between them, but it was not clear whether they would meet, Ma’an reported.
 
Abbas congratulated Morsi and briefed him on the latest developments in the peace process with Israel. According to the report, Abbas said Israel's refusal to stop Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria or make any agreement was hindering a return to talks.
 
Abbas has repeatedly continued to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.
 
He recently made the same preconditions during a meeting in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
 
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met in Jerusalem with Clinton this week, but his message was the same: no talks with Israel without preconditions.
 
According to Ma’an, Abbas and Morsi also discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and the PA as well as the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.
 
Hamas and Fatah have had a longtime row since Hamas violently overthrew the Fatah government in Gaza five years ago. The two factions signed a reconciliation deal in May of 2011, but the deal has repeatedly faltered as the parties spar over its implementation.

Morsi Won't Allow Siege on Gaza

Category: News
Created on Friday, 13 July 2012 18:24
Haniyeh celebrates Morsis victoryHamas’ Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Friday that he is convinced the new Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, will protect Gaza against Israeli aggression.
 
Haniyeh added that he is convinced that Morsi will open the borders between Gaza and Egypt and will remove the blockade.
 
Channel 10 News quoted Haniyeh, who spoke during Friday prayers in a mosque in Gaza, as saying he is certain that Egypt will not support aggressive actions in Gaza.
 
“We're confident that Egypt’s new leadership under Morsi will never support to any aggression or a war in Gaza,” Haniyeh said.
 
“We are confident that Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi will not take part in the siege being imposed on Gaza,” he added.
 
Channel 10 reported that Haniyeh is expected to visit Cairo within the next few weeks, whereh he will meet with Morsi and ask him to reopen the border between Egypt and Gaza, which has been closed for the past five years.
 
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. The rise of the movement to power in Egypt has led to speculations and concerns that it will show greater support for Hamas, which seized Gaza from the Palestinian Authority under its rival faction, Fatah, in a bloody 2007 putsch.
 
Muhammad Badi, the supreme leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, recently called for jihad on Israel.
 
Badi “confirmed the necessity for every Muslim to strive to save al-Quds [Jerusalem] from the hands of the rapists [Israelis] and to cleanse Palestine from the clutches of the occupation, deeming this an individual duty for all Muslims.”
 
He also “called on all Muslims to wage jihad with their money and their selves to free al-Quds”—the same exact language one finds in al-Qaeda’s tracts.
 
Some have portrayed Badi as the true power behind Egypt’s presidency, with Morsi acting as his puppet.

Top Egypt Court Freezes Morsi's Decree

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:30
Egypts new president. (Reuters)Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court froze on Tuesday a presidential decree reinstating the Islamist-led parliament, hours after the lower house convened in defiance of the judiciary and military.
 
“The court ordered the freeze of the president's decree,” AFP quoted a judicial source as having said, adding that it “ordered that its previous ruling be implemented.”
 
The court's decision is expected to heighten a crisis that has raged since President Mohammed Morsi issued the decree Sunday.
 
Last month, the court ruled that certain articles in the law governing parliamentary elections were invalid, annulling the People's Assembly.
 
The powerful Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in last year's popular uprising, then dissolved the house.
 
However, on Sunday Morsi ordered the lower house to reconvene, highlighting the power struggle between the president, the top court and the SCAF.
 
Taking its cue from Morsi the People's Assembly convened on Tuesday. AFP quoted speaker Saad al-Katatni as having said, “I want to stress, we are not contradicting the ruling, but looking at a mechanism for the implementation of the ruling of the respected court. There is no other agenda today.”
 
Lawyers representing Morsi criticized the court's latest decision, saying the ruling was a political move that would further complicate the crisis.
 
“This ruling is null and void,” lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud was quoted by AFP as having told reporters. Another member of the team, Mamduh Ismail, called it a "political decision."
 
On Monday, the SCAF reminded Morsi of its own powerful position in the country, when it issued a statement saying it expects all state institutions to respect the constitution – a barely-disguised warning to the newly-elected Muslim Brotherhood member.

What Jewish Voters? Obama Invites Morsi to Visit U.S.

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 08 July 2012 15:49
MorsiUnited States President Barack Hussein Obama has invited his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Morsi to conduct an official visit to the U.S. in September. Deputy Secretary of State William Perez said he delivered the invitation to Cairo during his meetings with the president on Sunday.
 
This would be the first visit ever to the U.S. by a member of the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood in an official capacity.
 
Obama previously made a congratulatory phone call to Morsi when his victory in Egypt’s presidential elections was made official. Obama also confirmed the United States' commitment towards democratic development in Egypt and offered his country’s support for the Egyptian economy.
 
According to Bikya Masr, Morsi sent a thank you message to the American president through Perez.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned from political work for the past 60 years, captured the presidency after prolonged violent protests ousted former strongman Hosni Mubarak. The rebellion that has swept through the Arab world in the last two years was encouraged, among other things, by Obama's speech in Cairo in 2009, in which he sought a "new beginning" in relations between the U.S. and adherents of the Muslim religion. 
 
Obama's invitation to Morsi would seem to indicate he is not overly concerned about a negative reaction by Jewish voters in the election two months later. Polls show that while his support among American Jews is not as high as it was in 2008, he still commands a clear majority among them.
 
Adding to the complexity of the situation is tthe prospect of a war with Iran that looms overhead, with Israel hinting an attack will take place within months and that it may go it alone if the U.S. does not lead the strike. 
 
Video of a rally that launched Morsi's campaign shows clearly that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks violent annihilation of Israel. 

Morsi During Campaign: Jihad Is Our Path

Category: News
Created on Friday, 29 June 2012 21:04
Mohammed Mursi talks during a news conference in Cairo. ReutersDuring his election campaign, Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Morsi reiterated his commitment to jihad and to the Islamic sharia law.
 
Morsi made the remarks in a speech broadcast on May 13 on the Egyptian Misr 25 television network. His remarks in Arabic were uploaded to YouTube, and were later translated to English by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
 
“The Koran was and will continue to be our constitution,” the Muslim Brotherhood candidate said. “The Koran is our constitution. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.”
 
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Morsi also said, “This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic sharia. I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text (of the constitution), Allah willing, the text will truly reflect (the sharia).”

Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egyptian Presidential Election

Category: News
Created on Monday, 18 June 2012 07:16
Ballot in Egyptian electionThe Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election.
 
The Associated Press reported that at a pre-dawn press conference declaring their win, officials from the fundamentalist group, banned for decades and repeatedly subjected to crackdowns under former President Hosni Mubarak's rule, were ebullient and smiling.
 
Final official results are not expected until Thursday, AP noted. The Brotherhood's declaration was based on results announced by election officials at individual counting centers, where each campaign has representatives who compile the numbers and make them public before the formal announcement. The Brotherhood's early, partial counts proved generally accurate in last month's first round vote.
 
The group said Morsi took 51.8 percent of the vote to rival former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's 48.1 percent out of 24.6 million votes cast, with 98 percent of the more than 13,000 poll centers counted.
 
Earlier on Sunday night, just two hours after polls closed, the Brotherhood claimed that Morsi was leading in several provinces, the Al-Arabiya network reported. Morsi campaign official Yasser Ali told a news conference that Morsi had 61 percent of the 1.4 million votes counted so far, compared to 39 percent for Shafiq.
 
Al-Arabiya reported that a Shafiq campaign official dismissed the Brotherhood's count, saying his candidate was ahead, but gave no numbers.
 
Voter turnout on Saturday, the first day of the second round of the presidential elections, was low compared to the first day of the first round.
 
Meanwhile on Sunday, Egypt’s ruling military issued an interim constitution defining the new president's authorities, The Associated Press reported.
 
With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals granted themselves considerable authority and the main role in charting the country's future..
 
According to a copy of the new constitution document obtained by AP, the generals would be the nation's de facto legislators and control the budget. They also will name the 100-member panel tasked with drafting a new constitution, thus ensuring the new charter would guarantee them a say in key policies like defense and national security as well as shield their vast economic empire from civilian scrutiny.

'Low Turnout' in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 17 June 2012 05:49
Voter has finger inked after casting ballot ReutersVoter turnout in the first day of the second round of the presidential elections in Egypt was low, compared to the first day of the first round.
 
In this final round, only two candidates remain in the race: the secular Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.
 
The ruling military council officially dissolved the Egyptian parliament as of Saturday night, following a Constitutional Court ruling to that effect on Thursday. The Muslim Brotherhood demands a plebiscite regarding the decision to dissolve parliament.
 
Meanwhile, Hamas denies it planted agents in Cairo to encourage rioting in protest of the decisions of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). According to IDF Radio, a spokesman for the pro-genocide terror group said that Hamas was "stupefied" by the false allegations, as he called them, and wonders what their source is. "The security of Egypt is the security of Palestine in the face of the common enemy, which is the Zionist occupier," the spokesman added.
 
U.S. State Department Victoria Nuland said Saturday that Washington is "troubled" by the court's decision to dissolve parliament but respects the independence of Egypt’s judiciary.
 
"We are continuing to monitor the situation in Egypt," she told reporters. "We’re looking closely at the decisions that were made yesterday and their full implications. Our sense of this is it’s not exactly clear to Egyptians themselves what the path forward is. But if in fact the conclusion is that there need to be new parliamentary elections, our hope is that they could happen swiftly and that they reflect the will of the Egyptian people."
 
Regarding the presidential elections, Nuland said the U.S. is "hoping and expecting that these will be free, fair, transparent, that the monitors and witnesses who the Egyptian Government have invited in will be able to be present throughout the country and will be able to give reassurance to the Egyptian people about the outcome."
 
She added: "The SCAF has pledged to step down, turn over power to the elected leader on July 1st, and we expect them to meet that commitment to the Egyptian people."
 
The SCAF has announced that it will convene an assembly of 100 citizens to write a new draft of the constitution by next Friday. Shafiq voiced pleasure with the decision, and Morsi said it should be respected.

Brotherhood Pins Hopes on Presidential Elections

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:15
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood pinned its hopes Friday on weekend elections to salvage its waning political fortunes, according to a report in The Associated Press.Mohammed Morsi (Reuters)
 
The runoff vote set for Saturday and Sunday pits Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, against Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Brotherhood rose to become the strongest political force in parliament after elections that started in November, only to lose that power when the legislature was dissolved by court order on Thursday.
 
The Brotherhood is now hoping to salvage its position by portraying itself as the last bulwark against the ousted president's loyalists bent on a comeback, AP reported.
 
“Isolate the representative of the former regime through the ballot box,” a Brotherhood statement said on Friday, referring to Shafiq. It was published just before the noon deadline to end campaigning.
 
Meanwhile, the report said, some activists took to Cairo's main squares to protest the court ruling. Morsi said on Thursday that he respects the court’s decision and added that the Brotherhood would focus on the vote instead.
 
“We are going to the ballot boxes to say ‘no’ to the losers, the killers, the criminals,” he said, referring to Mubarak-era officials.
 
Morsi also gave assurances that he would work closely with the country's military rulers, which are widely perceived as favoring ex-air force commander Shafiq.
 
“As president, they will be in my heart and will get my attention. ... They will never do anything to harm the nation,” AP quoted him as having said.
 
Thursday's court decision left Egypt without a legislature, and the Brotherhood said that that progress made since Mubarak was ousted was being “wiped out and overturned.” The movement said the country is facing a situation that is “even more dangerous than that in the final days of Mubarak's rule.”
 
Earlier this week, Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood sharpened their attacks on one another. Shafiq started the round by accusing the Brotherhood of paying thugs to attack his campaign headquarters in Cairo last month.
 
The Brotherhood in returned accused Shafiq of telling “huge lies” and said he did nothing to stop a notorious charge on protesters in what has come to be known as the “Battle of the Camel” during the January 2011 uprising.
 
The group said in a statement that Shafiq's lies aim to tarnish the Brotherhood's image and mislead voters so that they either do not vote for Morsi or boycott the runoff altogether.
 
In earlier comments, Shafiq hit hard at the Muslim Brotherhood, warning that an Islamist victory will lead to terrorizing Christians and accusing the Brotherhood of trying to make “Palestine" the central issue for Egyptians.
 
In an unusually sharp attack, Shafiq accused the Brotherhood of acting as if “Palestine is the capital of Egypt.” He said that Egyptians face several domestic issues that should not be overshadowed by the status of the Palestinian Authority, whose Hamas faction was founded by the Brotherhood.
 
“Don’t let the Muslim Brotherhood control Egypt and take it to the dark ages," Shafiq declared. "I represent a secular state... the Brotherhood represents a sectarian state. I represent progress and light, they represent backwardness and darkness.”

Court Dissolves Parliament 3 Days before Elections

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:24
Praying in ParliamentEgypt's constitutional court ruled on Thursday disqualified the country's parliament, just three days before presidential elections. The court ruled that one third of the seats in the Islamist-dominated parliament were invalid.
 
Following this decision, Egypt's ruling military council announced that if any part of the parliament is illegal, then the entire body should be dissolved.
 
Mohammed al-Beltagui, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, said the court’s ruling, together with another recent decision giving the military powers of arrests, amounted to "a complete coup through which the military council erases the most honorable period in this nation’s history.”
 
Beltagui is a senior member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which dominated the parliament that has been dissolved.
 
The constitutional court also ruled against a law that would have barred deposed president Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, from participating in Sunday's presidential poll runoff against the Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi.
 
Anonymous sources in the military council told Al Jazeera that the council will regain legislative authority and form a new constituent assembly on Friday.
 
Shafiq welcomed the court rulings in a conference before his supporters, saying it heralded an end to an "era of political score settling." The constitutional court "has confirmed my right to participate in the election and reinforced the legitimacy of this election," he said.
 
The law struck down by the constitutional court was approved by the parliament two months ago. It would have stripped political rights from anyone who served in top government posts in the last decade of Mubarak's regime.
 
Channel 2's veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari said Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood will not accept an election result in which Shafiq emerges victorious.

Brotherhood Candidate and Former PM to Run-Off Round

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 27 May 2012 22:24
Mohammed Morsi - ReutersMuslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, are the two candidates who will face off in a run-off round in Egypt’s presidential elections.
 
According to a report by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, Morsi has taken 24.9 percent of the votes, and Shafiq is a close second with 24.5 percent.
 
Though official election results will not be announced for at least two days, the newspaper’s calculations show that Morsi and Shafiq are likely to be in the run-off on June 16 and 17.
 
In a surprising turn of events, Egypt’s former foreign minister Amr Moussa, who had been considered a top candidate, did not do well in the polls. Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi has surprised many by coming in third, with 4,616,937, or 21.1 percent of the votes, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
 
Earlier on Friday, the Muslim Brotherhood said its candidate had won through to the run-off.
 
“It is clear that the run-off will be between Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq,” a Brotherhood official told reporters.Ahmed Shafiq
 
Shafiq said earlier this month that he would be ready to visit Israel, if elected, “provided it gives something to show it has good intentions.”
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, which also clinched the majority in recent parliamentary elections, has threatened to cancel the peace treaty with Israel by putting the issue up for a referendum and letting Egyptians decide.
 
Channel 2 News reported on Friday that former Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh, who had also been considered a frontrunner, has hinted that he will tell his supporters to vote for Morsi in the second round. According to the report, this may help Morsi clinch the victory.

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