An Egyptian aid convoy bound for Gaza was able to successfully deliver medical supplies to Palestine after reaching the Rafah border crossing on Friday morning.


Nour Party accuses government of trying to delay elections; FEP calls for postponing elections
Leading Nour Party member Shaaban Abdel Alim urged all political parties on Thursday to refrain from forming coalitions and to start pressuring the government to finish the process of dividing electoral districts. Abdel Alim also called for the amendment of the elections law, which he described as “unconstitutional.” The Nour Party has accused the government of trying to delay parliamentary elections, with Abdel Alim saying, “The regime wants to exclude parties from the political arena.” Meanwhile, the Free Egyptians Party called on the government to postpone parliamentary elections for a year. Dr. Ayman Abu Ela, the party’s assistant secretary general, said that Egypt still needs to review many laws and regulations before a parliament can be elected. He also emphasized the need to inform and educated the Egyptian people on the process of electing a parliament and what the nature of the body will be. [Egypt Independent, 7/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Budget announced for 6th of October City, involves drinking water and irrigation projects | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Wafd Secretary General says party rivalries will lead parliament to disaster | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Free Egyptians Party discusses choice of candidates and party funding | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Sisi: We must confront attempts to insult Islam | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Peter Greste to launch appeal against Al Jazeera conviction
Three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt last month for up to ten years on charges of aiding a terrorist organization will appeal their convictions, the family of imprisoned Australian journalist Peter Greste said on Friday. Greste, an award-winning foreign correspondent, was detained in December together with Al Jazeera English Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed. Greste’s brother Mike Greste said a Cairo legal firm had been appointed and was in the process of lodging the Al-Jazeera-funded appeal. Family spokeswoman Heidi Ross said she could not say whether Fahmy and Mohamed would also appeal their convictions. An Egyptian judge released his reasoning on Wednesday for the harsh sentences issued against Greste, Fahmy and Mohammed. [Reuters, AP, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 7/24/2014]

Authorities to investigate death of detainee in Alexandria police station
Alexandria prosecutors on Thursday began investigations into the death of Islam Sayed, a detainee inside the Raml police station, and allowed the burial of the body after the autopsy.  They summoned the officers that were on shift and the rest of the detainees to take their testimonies. Mohamed Ramadan, a lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, accused the officers of the police station of torturing and killing Sayed, claiming he was arrested last Saturday while sitting in a cafe next to his house holding a lighter that looked like a pistol. Meanwhile, an Alexandria Security Directorate official denied the incident, accusing the media of spreading rumors. [Egypt Independent, 7/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Custody of 11 Brotherhood supporters extended for 15 days | Shorouk (Arabic)


World Bank gives Egypt $500 million gas loan
The World Bank has agreed to give Egypt a $500 million loan to provide 1.5 million houses in 11 governorates with natural gas lines. “The Egypt Household Natural Gas Connection Project will support the Egyptian government’s program to replace household consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is mostly imported, with grid-connected natural gas,” according to a statement published on Thursday. About 52 percent of the neighbourhoods this project targets have poverty rates higher than the country’s national average, the statement said. [Aswat Masriya, SIS, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), 7/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt banks, bourse closed from July 28-30 for Eid holiday | Reuters
  • EGX gains EGP 5.2 billion, index up 2.12 percent | SIS
  • New branch in Suez Canal to raise its revenues to $13.5 billion | SIS, Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • “Long Live Egypt Fund” has own mechanisms to receive funds without presidency’s intervention | SIS
  • A company for public transportation to be formed at EGP 1 billion capital | SIS
  • Government discusses establishment of mass transit company | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Italy’s Eni: pumping investments of $1.3 billion annually to increase oil and gas production in Egypt | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Egypt convoy delivers medical aid to Gaza
An Egyptian aid convoy bound for Gaza was able to successfully deliver medical supplies to Palestine after reaching the Rafah border crossing on Friday morning. Member of the convoy and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali tweeted that the convoy had reached the crossing and was waiting for members of the Palestinian Red Crescent to receive the aid, expected after noon prayers, he said. Several hours later, he tweeted that the supplies were successfully delivered into Palestine, and the activists were en route back to Cairo. They delivered EGP2.3 million worth of medical aid to Gaza from donations. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, AMAY (Arabic), SIS, 7/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Security forces disperse Brotherhood marches | Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • NGOs demand government to stop fight against civil society | DNE
  • Imam referred to investigation over preaching without prior notification | Egypt Independent
  • PM opens new emergency hospital | SIS
  • Egypt campaigns against atheism | Al Monitor
  • PM leads Friday prayers at Al-Azhar | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Eid Al-Fitr vacation extended to Thursday: PM Mahlab | Ahram Online
  • Seven killed, nine injured after house collapses in Minya | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Interior ministry spokesperson claims foreign intelligence behind New Valley attack
Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said on Thursday that some international intelligence services may be behind the recent terrorist attack in the New Valley province, which claimed the lives of 22 border guards. Terrorist attacks, according to Abdel Latif, are carried out by terrorist elements who were trained in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and were recruited by foreign intelligence bodies to “carry out international plots.” In a televised speech on Thursday, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the New Valley attack and stressed the importance of a balanced understanding of religion to avoid extremism. Meanwhile, security services said that investigations into the attack revealed the involvement of a former commando officer. According to security services, the former officer, Hisham al-Ashmawy, a member of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group, was assisted in the plot by Khaled al-Menai, another group leader who was killed in an army operation as announced by the military on Thursday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Shorouk (Arabic), Al-Ahram (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 7/24/2014]

Assailants blow up power pylon outside Cairo
Unknown assailants blew up an electricity pylon feeding west Cairo and a district north of the capital, state-run news agency MENA reported. The explosion late Wednesday damaged the 500kv tower but didn’t cause it to topple, MENA added on Thursday. Repairs should take two weeks and cost EGP 400,000 (around $56,000), with necessary diversions carried out to prevent power shortages in affected areas, said Gaber al-Desouky, head of Egypt’s main power operator. [Ahram Online, 7/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egyptian arrested with explosives before attacking Israel | Egypt Independent
  • MOI: security forces deployed to secure Eid al-Fitr celebrations | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Security tightened in Alexandria to prevent protests | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Security forces kill three suspects in attempt to free kidnapped Copt in Sohag | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egyptian, foreign diplomats say Gaza truce to be agreed within three days
Egyptian and western diplomats have said a UN-brokered humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza will be put in place within the next 72 hours, despite Israel saying a truce is unlikely in the coming days.  Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a two-stage plan to halt the fighting in the Gaza Strip that would first impose a weeklong truce starting Sunday, an official involved in the negotiations said on Friday. As soon as the truce took effect, Palestinian and Israeli officials would begin negotiations on the principal economic, political and security concerns about Gaza, with other nations attending. The negotiations will seemingly stem from the Egyptian initiative calling for a halt to hostilities ahead of talks. Kerry, who spent another night in Cairo reaching out by telephone to regional officials, met UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri on Friday for talks. The top US diplomat has said he would speak to reporters later Friday, on what could be the end of his week-long mission to the region. Asked about the ceasefire, deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf refused to get into specific details of what the framework of any eventual ceasefire might look like, other than to say that the US was backing an Egyptian initiative which was based on a 2012 truce. Following a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said at news conference in Cairo on Thursday that Hamas must agree to a humanitarian ceasefire without conditions.  Meanwhile, Egypt condemned an Israeli airstrike on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) shelter in Beit Hnaoun which left 15 dead and 200 wounded. [Ahram Online, 7/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • In Gaza war, Egypt taking hard line over border | AP
  • Ban Ki-moon calls for a humanitarian truce in Gaza | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Shoukry: Gaza crisis cannot continue | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Erdogan calls Sisi ‘tyrant’ in CNN interview | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Port to open between Egypt and Sudan | AMAY (Arabic)
  • News agency: Iran coordinated with Egypt to send aid to Gaza | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Spain lifts travel ban on Sharm al-Sheikh | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)