Israel launched fresh aerial attacks on Gaza on Tuesday, six hours after agreeing to an Egyptian-proposed truce that failed to halt Hamas rocket attacks. Israel had initially accepted an initative proposed by the Egyptian government for a ceasefire, but Hamas had rejected it.


Sisi issues presidential decree to form High Elections Committee
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday issued a presidential decree (231/2014) to form the High Elections Committee which will be responsible for organizing the upcoming parliamentary elections. Presidential spokesperson Ihab Badawi said the decree was announced after consulting the newly modified 2014 constitution, law 45/2014 on the exercise of political rights, other related laws, and guidance from the minister of justice. The political rights law stipulates that the committee will be headed by the president of the Cairo Court of Appeals and comprised of senior members of his staff, the Cassation Court, and State Council. [EGYNews (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Al-Ahram (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 7/15/2014]

Jama’a al-Islamiya closes dialogue with regime for arresting members 
Tarek al-Zomor, head of the Construction and Development Party, the political arm of al-Jama’a al-Islamiya, said on Monday that the arrest of Safwat Abdel Ghany, a member of the group’s Shura Council, and four other leading figures while trying to flee to Sudan on Sunday evening has closed any possibility for dialogue with the ruling regime. “In fact, it opens the door for the unknown,” he added. Walid al-Borsh, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Tamarod movement, a reformist movement within the group, said the arrests will allow the movement to take control of the group and reconcile with the regime. [Egypt Independent, 7/15/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Amr Moussa announces Egyptian Nation Alliance document | Egypt Independent
  • Nour party in talks to form electoral alliances | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sisi decides to merge ‘Long Live Egypt’ and the 306306 Fund | DNE
  • Sisi: Egypt’s vision depends on free economy, taking into account low-income brackets | SIS
  • Nour party praises decision to allow Mubarak party figures to run for parliament | Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Ministries of industry and communications sign protocol to train ten thousand job seekers | EGYNews (Arabic)


Request to replace judges in sexual assault case rejected 
The Cairo Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a request submitted by the defendants’ lawyer in the Tahrir Square sexual assault case to replace the panel of judges and fined him EGP 4,000. The lawyer claimed the judge was intransigent and rough with the defendants and overly compassionate with the victims. He also said that the lawyers of the plaintiffs were guiding the witnesses without the court intervening. The prosecutor general last month referred 12 suspects accused of sexually assaulting, wounding and attempting to murder five women in Tahrir Square during the celebration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s victory in the presidential election. [Egypt Independent, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Cairo criminal court postpones trial of 494 Brotherhood supporters | Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Morsi trial postponed until August 20 | Egypt IndependentShorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Security source: prison has not yet received formal notification for Qandil’s release | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Five defendants sentenced to three to five years on torture charges | AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Thirty-one Brotherhood members arrested on charges of attacking police headquarters | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt’s new subsidy system tackles bread consumption
Egypt has rolled out a series of reforms to its decades-old bread subsidy system in the hopes that it will reduce the nation’s bread consumption and minimize corruption. The new smart-card system, which entitles card owners to a fixed ration of five loaves of bread per day, was first introduced in the spring in cities in the Suez Canal and Alexandria and arrived this month in several Cairo districts. [Ahram Online, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt market back in green on foreign, institutional buying | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to cooperate with World Bank to increase economic competitiveness | DNESISAhram Gateway (Arabic)
  • EGX achieves collective gains, main index up 1.28 percent | SIS
  • Egypt’s cash-strapped government looks to IPOs | AmCham
  • Egypt’s central bank seen keeping key interest rates on hold- poll | Reuters
  • Egypt likely to lead Mideast private equity rebound | WSJ
  • Red Sea hotel occupancy hits 70 percent after lifting of European travel bans: Minister | Ahram OnlineDNE
  • Investment minister promotes Egyptian economy to Asian diplomats | DNE


Egypt’s interior ministry to investigate alleged torture case in police station 
Egypt’s interior ministry will investigate an alleged torture case in a Cairo police station, a security source told Aswat Masriya. The alleged torture incident, recorded in a YouTube video, shows someone, who appears to be suffering, lying on the ground asking for help. The video also shows a bystander demanding the injured be transported to the hospital. Viewers of the video have suspected the incident took place in Ain Shams police station. The source told Aswat Masriya that officials at the interior ministry neither denied nor confirmed the incident’s occurrence while stating that the incident is being investigated. [Ahram Online, 7/15/2014]

Civil society draft law would ‘throttle’ NGOs
A new civil society draft law will “throttle” Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and “rob them of their independence,” said Human Rights Watch. In a statement on Monday, the international watchdog condemned the draft law and called for it to be discarded and replaced. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, warned that the draft law would “extinguish a crucial element of democracy in Egypt.” The Ministry of Social Solidarity presented the draft legislation to Egyptian groups on June 26. It has garnered criticism since then for restricting the activities of the already struggling civil society organizations in Egypt. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab asserted that Egypt supports NGOs, adding that they complete the government’s role. [DNEMada Masr, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Health Ministry, manufacturer of Hep C virus medicine sign protocol of cooperation | Egypt IndependentAswat Masriya
  • New MOI sector to receive reports of violence and sexual harassment against women | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Parties condemn mortar strikes in Al-Arish
Thousands attended a funeral in North Sinai’s al-Arish for eight persons who were killed late Monday in an explosive attack, reported Al-Ahram. The funeral was reportedly filled with families and residents angrily chanting against terrorism. Al-Dostour Party strongly condemned the “terrorist” attacks, describing those responsible for them as “criminal organizations” in a statement released on Monday. The party called on the government to be “more transparent” about the current situation in North Sinai. It also requested that the government make public the results of its confrontations with terrorist organizations in the Peninsula throughout the past year. Other political groups, including the April 6 movement and the Free Egyptians Party also condemned the attacks, while Egypt’s Wasat Party blamed the authorities for what it called the worsening security situation in the area. [Ahram OnlineAl-Ahram (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 7/15/2014]

Also of Interest:


Israel-Palestine ceasefire collapses as Hamas’ armed wing rejects Egypt truce 
Israel launched fresh aerial attacks on Gaza on Tuesday, six hours after agreeing to an Egyptian-proposed truce that failed to halt Hamas rocket attacks. Israel had initially accepted an initative proposed by the Egyptian government for a ceasefire, but Hamas had rejected it. The Egyptian deal proposed a full ceasefire to come into effect 12 hours after the start of “de-escalation”, which should be followed within 48 hours by separate talks in Cairo between the two parties and neutral mediators on terms for an agreement. The truce, which was to be implemented starting 0600 GMT Tuesday, was rejected by Hamas’ armed wing, a decision supported by the militant group, Islamic Jihad. The al-Qassam Brigades said it had not been informed of the agreement but said excerpts published in the media showed it was “an initiative of kneeling and submission.” However, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas official who was in Cairo, said the movement, which is seeking a deal that would ease border restrictions imposed by both Egypt and Israel, had made no final decision on the proposal. The proposal was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud AbbasIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuUS President Barack Obama, as well as the Arab League. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the initiative, while also condemning Hamas for “brazenly firing rockets” in the face of the ceasefire. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement calling on Egyptians, as well as the Arab and “free world” to “rise up to lift the siege on Gaza.” Abbas is scheduled to visit Egypt on Wednesday to discuss the ceasefire with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [The GuardianAswat MasriyaReutersAMAY (Arabic), 7/15/2014]

US Secretary of State John Kerry not to visit Egypt
US Secretary of State John Kerry has decided not to make an immediate trip to the Middle East to push diplomatic efforts toward a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Sources had said that Kerry would be visiting Cairo on Tuesday to meet with Egyptian officials to discuss an Egypt-proposed truce. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Atty also said that Kerry will not be visiting Cairo. The foreign ministry said that Kerry telephoned his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday, to discuss the ceasefire. [APAswat Masriya, 7/15/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • US offers Egypt late invite to Africa summit in Washington | Ahram OnlineEgypt Independent
  • EgyptAir to launch direct flights from Cairo to New Delhi | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Egypt to help Libya control its borders | AP
  • Egyptian, Canadian FMs in talks | SIS
  • Qatar’s foreign minister leaves Cairo for Turkey | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Campaign to send aid convoy to Gaza | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Constitution Party declares solidarity with Palestinians | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Popular Socialist Alliance calls for steadfastness in support of Palestinians | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s Abul-Fotouh urges presidency to allow medical convoys to Gaza | Ahram Online
  • Shoukry, Palestinian counterpart discuss Israeli aggression on Gaza | SIS