Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement agreed on Monday to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire to end four weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip, following talks between Cairo officials and representatives of different Palestinian factions.


Amr Moussa’s Egypt electoral alliance collapses
Amr Moussa, former foreign minister and chairman of the 50-member constitution-drafting committee, announced on Monday that his two-month long efforts to found a national political alliance have reached a deadlock. According to Moussa’s spokesman Ahmed Kamel, Moussa decided to withdraw from the Alliance of the Egyptian Nation – a bloc he tried to form last month among a group of leftist and liberal forces with hopes of gaining a majority in the new House of Representatives, Egypt’s lower house in parliament. The bloc was primarily designed to include the liberal Wafd Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the leftist Tagammu party. Kamel indicated that the failure of political parties and factions to put the national concerns of Egypt above their own narrow-minded interests has left the proposed alliance in limbo. Informed sources said the rejection by the Wafd Party’s leading officials on July 22 to join Moussa’s proposed bloc dealt a deafening blow to the alliance. [Ahram Online, 8/4/2014]

Also of Interest:
Sisi insists Egyptians “will pay” for the “Long Live Egypt” fund | Aswat Masriya
Reform and Development party to intensify efforts to strengthen alliance | Shorouk (Arabic)
Interior minister orders formation of media office | Shorouk (Arabic)
Head of Nour Party: chaos in Libya shows credibility of party’s positions | Al-Ahram (Arabic)


Cairo court sentences 16 to 10 years prison for attempting to storm police station
Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Tuesday 16 defendants to 10 years in maximum security prison, and five years’ probation, for attempting to storm Waily police station in downtown Cairo last September. The case of a seventeenth defendant was closed due to his death, reported state-run Al-Ahram. They were charged with rioting, belonging to a group formed contrary to the regulations of the law and constitution, and resisting authorities. The events took place following the dispersal of a pro-Morsi vigil in mid-August 2013. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:
Former Press Syndicate chairman’s detention appealed | DNE, Shorouk (Arabic)
Verdict in ten lawsuits demanding FJP dissolution to be issued August 6 | Egypt Independent
Mubarak to address court for the first time on August 13 | Ahram Online
Mubarak’s lawyer sues Al-Masry Al-Youm columnist | Egypt Independent
Mubarak’s lawyer denies charges related to gas exports to Israel | Shorouk (Arabic)
Police arrest child-beating manager of Egyptian orphanage | Ahram Online, DNE
Director of beaten children’s orphanage released pending investigation | Egypt Independent
Military trial of NASL leaders adjourned until August 10 | Egypt Independent
Microphone malfunction postpones Zawahiri’s trial | Egypt Independent
State Commissioners’ to review ban on Islamist charity organization | Aswat Masriya
Ruling on Brotherhood funds postponed to November 25 | Shorouk (Arabic)
Essam Sultan trial for insulting judiciary postponed to September 7 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Badie and Shater trial postponed to August 16 | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt to build new Suez canal
Egypt plans to add an extra lane to the Suez canal, one of the most important thoroughfares for world trade, in an attempt to increase the number of ships using the canal each day. A new 45-mile (72km) lane, plans for which were announced on Tuesday by Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at an inaugural event, would allow ships to travel in both directions for just under half of the canal’s 101-mile length. In his speech, Sisi called on Egyptians to participate in financing the project through buying shares, priced at $100 per share for Egyptians abroad, EGP100 for locals and EGP10 for students. He added that, as Egyptians are sensitive over financing from foreign banks and investors, the project will be financed only by local banks and Egyptians. [Guardian, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, AMAY (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt stocks boosted by Suez Canal mega project news | Ahram Online
One in five Egyptians experience food insecurity: Australian research firm | DNE
Egyptian exports to the USA drop 37.6 percent, imports surge 7.6 percent | DNE
IFC, EBRD invest $60 million in Mall of Arabia | DNE
Tourism ministry aims to increase Gulf visitors by 20 percent by end of August: Ministry official | DNE
Ministry of Civil Aviation raises aircraft self-service fees to airport developments: Ministry of finance | DNE
Egypt business activity shrinks in July after subsidy cuts | Reuters
EGX gains EGP 4 billion | SIS


Egypt’s press syndicate calls for Gaza solidarity demonstration
The Egyptian press syndicate called for a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza in front of its headquarters on Tuesday, set to coincide with other rallies organized by journalists in other Arab countries. Dozens of journalists, among them the syndicate head Diaa Rashwan, took to the steps of the syndicate, to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza. In a statement, Rashwan distinguished between support for the Palestinian cause and support for Hamas. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Renewed sectarian clashes in Minya over construction of church
The Minya village of Salamout witnessed renewed clashes on Tuesday between Christians and Muslims over rumors of the construction of a church. Minya security forces imposed a cordon after Muslims threw Molotov cocktails at Christian homes, accusing them of attempting to convert a house into a church. The clashes come on the same day that 14 defendants arrested after sectarian violence over the construction of a church in the same village were released. [EGYNews (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:
Security forces block al-Fan Midan street festival | DNE
Governor of Beni Suef doubles support for orphan care | Shorouk (Arabic)
Governor of Cairo to provide solutions for street vendors | Shorouk (Arabic)


US peacekeeping soldier shot as Egypt continues Sinai raids
A US soldier with the multinational peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was wounded when gunmen fired at his camp late on Monday, security sources said. The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) soldier was wounded in the shoulder and was treated by medics at a camp near the northern Sinai village of al-Joura, the sources added. Egyptian troops on Monday killed three militant fighters in shoot-outs in Sinai, where the military is combating Islamist insurgents, the army said. Six suspects were also arrested during the raids in North Sinai, army spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement, adding that a car and sixteen motorbikes used in attacks by the “terrorist elements” were destroyed in the firefight. Tuesday’s announcement follows a similar series of raids that occurred on Sunday that resulted in the killing of eleven “terrorists” and the discovery and destruction of three tunnels in North Sinai. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, DNE, SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:
Unknown assailants attack police station in Alexandria | Ahram Online
Egyptian ISIS member urges youth to join their cause | Egypt Independent
Military source: Defense minister gives choice to donate to ‘Long Live Egypt’ fund | Egypt Independent
Son of Beni Suef FJP secretary-general arrested at Cairo Airport | EGYNews (Arabic)
Military source: armed forces will oversee Suez project | AMAY (Arabic)
Ministry of solidarity and Red Crescent working to establish communications network in Al-Arish, Ismailia, and Cairo to deal with Gaza repercussions | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Egypt brokered ceasefire starts in Gaza, talks in Cairo
Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement agreed on Monday to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire to end four weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip, following talks between Cairo officials and representatives of different Palestinian factions. Egypt presented the Palestinian demands to Israel on Monday, which include a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the lifting of a blockade, the release of prisoners and the start of a reconstruction process. As details of the demands emerged, there were some signs that Hamas is willing to let its former rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, take a lead in rebuilding the territory.  Israel is expected to send a negotiating delegation to Cairo Tuesday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also said a delegation of the Islamist movement’s Gaza-based leaders would head to Cairo on Tuesday to join representatives of its exiled leadership. Meanwhile, top US negotiator William Burns canceled a trip to Cairo, where he was expected to arrive late Sunday to join a visiting US team that is helping Egyptian negotiators reach a truce between Israel and Palestinian factions. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Reuters, AP, 8/5/2014]

Shoukry says no plan for military intervention in Libya
Egypt has no intention of intervening militarily in Libya and is merely keen to safeguard its borders, the country’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, has said. “The army’s role is to protect the Egyptian borders,” Shoukry told reporters on Monday in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and former secretary-general of the Arab League, said in a statement on Sunday should consider the possibility of a military response. Mahlab flew to Tunisia to check on the state of thousands of Egyptians stranded at the border with Libya after fleeing the growing chaos. Tunisia’s interior minister agreed to evacuate 13,000 Egyptians stranded at the Tunisia-Libya border, while nearly 50,000 Egyptians have arrived at Egypt’s Salloum border crossing with Libya in the last month. Mahlab returned to Cairo on Tuesday on a plane accompanied by 300 Egyptians fleeing the violence. Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi sent five thousand tonnes of food supplies to Egyptians stranded on the Libyan-Tunisian border, according to the Egyptian army’s official Facebook page. [Ahram Online, SIS, Mada Masr, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 8/5/2014]

Also of Interest:
Kerry visits Mahlab at Washington hotel for summit talks | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, EGYNews (Arabic)
Kerry to Mahlab: US is keen on supporting Egypt | AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Mahlab meets with heads of global companies in Washington | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Mahlab, US Commerce Secretary discuss boosting economic, trade ties | SIS
Sisi, Arab League chief discuss situations in Gaza, Libya, Syria | SIS
Egypt to hold international development conference by 2015 | DNE
Egyptian government presents trade, technology projects to India | DNE
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE to discuss details of economic conference | DNE
Obama: Morsi did not prove ability to rule Egypt | Egypt Independent
Egypt among top 20 countries attracting international students: UNESCO | Aswat Masriya
Egypt welcomes opening session of Libyan parliament | SIS, Shorouk (Arabic)
PM meets Libyan counterpart in Washington | SIS
In briefing, State Department spokesperson responds to Egyptian criticisms over aid comment | State Department