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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-Jul-2013
25-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army calls for mass protests to fight 'terrorism'

Web Log - July, 2013

25-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army calls for mass protests to fight 'terrorism'

U.S. delays F-16s to Egypt, but continues money aid

This morning's key headlines from

Hamas accuses Egypt of 'starving' the people of Gaza

Egyptian military helicopter flying over Alexandria (Reuters)
Egyptian military helicopter flying over Alexandria (Reuters)

Hamas, the governing authority on the Gaza Strip, is accusing Egypt of the some of the things that it used to accuse Israel of. Hamas officials are accusing Egypt of making the siege of Gaza worse than ever by destroying smuggling tunnels and closing the Rafah border crossing:

"Even [former Egyptian president] Hosni Mubarak did not starve the Gaza Strip. By destroying the tunnels without providing an alternative, the Egyptians are punishing the entire population of the Gaza Strip and deepening the humanitarian and economic crisis."

Over the past few days, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have reported that Egyptian military helicopters have been flying over parts of Gaza, as part of the massive military crackdown that's in progress in Sinai. (See "13-Jul-13 World View -- Israel and Egypt cooperate against terrorists in Sinai")

Egypt claims that Hamas has been mettling in Egypt's affairs by encouraging Muslim Brotherhood violence, and by sponsoring terrorism in Sinai.

So Hamas is getting particularly concerned that Egypt's Army plans to take control of Gaza. Gaza used to be part of Egypt until the 1967 war with Israel, when Israel took control. In 2005, the Israelis gave Gaza to the Palestinians, and in 2008, Hamas took control of it. Jerusalem Post

Egypt's army calls for mass protests to fight 'terrorism'

Egypt's Army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday called for mass demonstrations on Friday to give the military a mandate to crackdown on "violence and terrorism." According to El-Sisi:

"I ask ... that next Friday all honest and trustworthy Egyptians must come out. Why come out? They come out to give me the mandate and order that I confront violence and potential terrorism."

The army arrested President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, about a year after he and his Muslim Brotherhood party the first free presidential election in Egypt's history, and about six months after Morsi suspended the constitution and gave himself dictatorial powers. Morsi has not been since in public since his arrest. Many other Brotherhood officials have also been arrested, and more were arrested on Wednesday. About 30% of Egypt's population belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, and since July 3, there have been huge daily protests across the country, demanding that Morsi be returned to the presidency. So now the Army chief is asking for a huge anti-Morsi demonstration on Friday, to give the army a "mandate." So it now appears that there are going to be huge pro- and anti-Morsi rallies on Friday, with many opportunities for confrontation and violence.

Muslim Brotherhood activists are furious that El-Sisi implied that Brotherhood members were guilty of "violence and terrorism," especially after dozens of Brotherhood supporters have been killed by the Army in recent weeks.

However, El-Sisi may have been referring to the Sinai, where al-Qaeda linked militants with links to some hardline Brotherhood members have been conducting terrorists attacks, causing Egyptian, Israeli and nearby U.S. forces to be put on alert. al-Arabiya (Dubai) and al-Ahram (Cairo)

U.S. delays F-16s to Egypt, but continues money aid

According to a Pentagon spokesman:

"Given the current situation in Egypt, we do not believe it is appropriate to move forward at this time with the delivery of F-16s."

U.S. law requires that aid to any country be terminated if the army states a coup against a democratically elected leader. Since ending all aid to Egypt would likely be a disaster for the entire Mideast, the Administration has studiously avoided using the word "coup" to described what happened in Egypt. And so the $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt can continue. But Wednesday's announcement is an attempt to appease critics in Washington and, at the same time, to send a signal to Egypt's army to restore a "normal" government as quickly as possible. VOA

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army calls for mass protests to fight 'terrorism' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-Jul-2013) Permanent Link
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