Top News: Egypt Making Phone Calls to Protect Palestinian Civilians; Declares Emergency State on Gaza Border

Egypt’s presidential office said on Wednesday that Egypt is making extensive phone calls with concerned parties to protect Palestinian civilians from Israeli strikes.


Government moves to contain anger toward price increases and control markets
Anger and fears of inflation in response to price increases in Egypt continued to escalate as Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab attempted to assure the Egyptian people that the state has the ability to control prices. Experts have said that any increase in inflation will negatively impact the living standards of the poor and have called on the government to control prices. In response to public unrest regarding the price increases. Meanwhile, Mahlab tasked the government Tuesday with intensifying traffic and security campaigns to control traffic violations and prevent passenger exploitation in light of a new transportation tariff. The government has introduced a 10-15 percent increase to transport tariffs after fuel prices were hiked as part of the subsidy system reform. [DNE, 7/8/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Nubian leaders call on Sisi to form Nubian governorate | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Nour Party demands establishment of council to control prices  | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Cabinet receives thousands of citizens complaints via telephone hotline | AMAY (Arabic)


50 Morsi loyalists sentenced to five years for illegal assembly, rioting
The Alexandria Misdemeanor Court sentenced 50 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday to five years imprisonment and a fine of EGP 20,000 for violating the Protest Law, according to state owned MENA. The defendants were arrested in a pro-Morsi rally in Alexandria during a violent crackdown in December 2013 and faced charges of thuggery, defying police forces, and vandalizing public property. Of the fifty defendants, thirty-six were sentenced in absentia. According to the defense team, the verdict was issued without a pleading hearing even though ten defense lawyers were present in court. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 7/9/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Morsi espionage trial postponed to August 17 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Eleven Brotherhood members arrested for alleged terrorist operations in Beheira | Mada Masr
  • Five Muslim Brotherhood members arrested in Aswan | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Inventor of Complete Cure device files complaint against critics | Mada Masr
  • Wasat Party leader detention extended 45 days | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Ahmed Douma cabinet clashes trial postponed to August 4 | DNE, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Security prevents journalists from attending Douma trial | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Prosecutor General renews request to Interpol for arrest of Hussein Salem, Boutros Ghali and Rachid Mohamed | Shorouk (Arabic)


UAE willing to invest in oil sector, choosing between current projects: Petroleum minister
In a surprise visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday, the ministers of Petroleum, Finance, and Investment held meetings with Emirati officials to discuss new mechanisms through which Gulf countries could support the Egyptian economy. Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail noted, in a statement to the Daily News Egypt, that the UAE has expressed its willingness to invest in the petroleum sector and is currently choosing between projects that can be started in the coming period. He also added that there are ongoing discussions regarding the possibilities for the Arab Petroleum Pipelines Company (SUMED) to construct new pipelines and depots. [DNE, 7/8/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Industry minister calls on agricultural exporters to focus on Gulf as alternative to Turkey | DNE
  • Government to bolster transport system with EGP 1.4 billion | DNE
  • Egypt pound unchanged at sale, slightly weaker on black market | Reuters
  • Despite austerity, spending in new budget is close to last year’s | Mada Masr
  • Saudi Arabia tops list of countries receiving Egypt exports in 2014 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Authorities crackdown on microbus drivers over fare increases
Several hundreds of microbus drivers were reportedly issued fines on Tuesday for violating regulations on new fares, in light of the government’s lifting of subsidies on gasoline, natural gas and diesel. The private Sada al-Balad website reported that the Interior Ministry issued approximately 780 tickets and fines to microbus drivers for raising their fares beyond the 10 percent dictated by the government. The state-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that another eleven microbuses and five taxis had their licenses revoked and were issued fines by police at checkpoints across the Nile Delta Governorate of Damietta on Tuesday. Meanwhile, taxi drivers in Kafr al-Sheikh went on strike and refused to abide by the new fares. The drivers said they will continue to strike until their demands to raise the fares are met. [Mada Masr, 7/8/2014]

“Brotherhood” supermarkets partially re-opened after government seizure
A governmental committee tasked with appraising the monetary assets of the Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday that sixty percent of Zad supermarkets have re-opened and that the government trusteeship of Seoudi’s Zamalek and Mohandiseen branches has ended after it was verified that the branches were not linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The committee met on Tuesday with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to discuss its task of confiscating assets belonging to the outlawed Brotherhood. During Tuesday’s meeting, the panel said that it has seized the funds of 737 Brotherhood leaders in addition to placing the management of 1,050 NGOs and some 81 schools believed to be affiliated with the group into a government trusteeship. The committee said that it is currently working on reopening the rest of Zad’s branches due to huge losses surpassing EGP 20 million during its closure.. [Ahram Online, 7/8/2014]

Amnesty International denies reports they were invited to work with Fact-Finding Committee
On Wednesday Amnesty International denied reports that it had been invited to assist the 30 June Fact-Finding Committee, the government-backed body tasked with investigating violence since the fall of former president Mohamed Morsi. Multiple media sources reported Tuesday that the Fact-Finding Committee reached out to international human rights watchdog Amnesty International to help investigate allegations of the torture and forced disappearance of inmates in Egypt’s prisons, but Amnesty International’s Egypt spokesperson denied to the Daily News Egypt that any offer was ever made by the Committee. In early June, Amnesty International submitted their evidence about abuse in prison to the Committee, said the Amnesty International spokesperson, “however, since then, we haven’t heard back from the national Fact Finding committee. “We have tried to work with [the Committee], and we invited them to call us if they want so we can meet. We even agreed to meet [the Committee] with people from senior levels [at Amnesty International] in London.” [DNE, 7/9/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Post-30 June fund to provide 140 homes for homeless families by the end of 2014 | DNE
  • Pharmacists demand to meet with Sisi regarding medicine prices | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Sisi meets with National Council for Human Rights | Ahram (Arabic)


Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis distributes anti-military flyers in North Sinai
Militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis distributed flyers on Tuesday inciting against Egypt’s armed forces and calling for support throughout several villages south of Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai, Egypt Independent reported. The flyers urged villagers to cooperate with the group.  “If you were not with us, do not be against us,” the flyers read. They said they seek the establishment of Sharia and and an Islamist nation where virtue is practiced and vice is prevented. The flyers also called for the removal of borders between Islamic countries and praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque. [Egypt Independent, 7/9/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt making phone calls to protect Palestinian civilians; Declares emergency state on Gaza border
Egypt’s presidential office said on Wednesday that Egypt is making extensive phone calls with concerned parties to protect Palestinian civilians from Israeli strikes. Tens of airstrikes have in the past week been sent into Gaza killing at least 20 in what Israel has described as a possibly prolonged attack on Palestinian militants in response to Hamas rockets. According to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said, during a phone call, that Egypt would try to exert pressure to end Israeli attacks on Gaza and expressed his commitment to the safety of Palestinians. Egypt also declared an emergency state on the border with Gaza on Wednesday, a security source said. Egypt’s Mufti and Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry both condemned the violence, calling for an immediate end to the air strikes. Egyptian authorities kept the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip closed for the sixth consecutive day as a host of Palestinian news websites, media outlets, and Egyptian solidarity groups, called on the authorities in Cairo to allow the reopening of the border crossing in light of the crisis.  [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 7/9/2014]

Egypt’s Sisi offers full support to Iraq’s Maliki
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi assured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Egypt is willing to give its full support to get Iraq out of its current crisis, Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ihab Badawi told reporters on Tuesday. In a phone call with Maliki, Sisi expressed Egypt’s concern regarding recent developments in Iraq that he said are threatening its unity and called for Iraq’s national constituencies to align to resolve their problems. Sisi also called for the building of a strong, inclusive state in Iraq that will reject sectarian tendencies in order to be able to face “extremism and terrorism,” which he said is threatening national states in the region. [Ahram Online, SIS, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 7/8/2014]

African rights court says it cannot make move against Egypt’s regime
The AU’s African Court on Human and People’s Rights (AFCHPR) said it lacks jurisdiction to review lawsuits of violations against human rights by authorities in Egypt, as it did not approve the protocol on establishment of the court. Robert Eno, the court’s registrar, said the court received three lawsuits from Egyptians, however, it was unable to review them, as Egypt did not sign the protocol to allows NGOs and citizens to file requests. Five Egyptians filed complaints to the court on June 16 against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, former Interim President Adly Mansour and former Public Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud. [Egypt Independent, 7/8/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Tourism Minister: Germany to remove travel ban on Sharm al-Sheikh | Egypt Independent
  • MoU inked between Egypt, FAO on agriculture, food security in Africa | SIS
  • Emir of Kuwait receives foreign minister to discuss regional issues | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Shoukry to attend emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation | Ahram (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)