As both Hamas and Israel agreed to another humanitarian 24-hour ceasefire on Sunday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Attiya denied in statements to Al Jazeera that Qatar objects to Egypt’s cease-fire initiative.


Eid prayer sermons echo Egypt politics
Egyptians performed Eid prayer on Monday in mosques and public spaces set by the ministry of endowments. Most of the prayer sermons reflected the political tension in the country. “Islam is innocent from those who kill our sons stationed on the borders,” the Religious Endowments Minister said in a prayer sermon attended by the country’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, referring the rise of attacks against security forces in North Sinai. The ministry warned against using mosques for political propaganda during prayer, adding that it will take strict measures against those who violate these instructions. The government set around 3,000 places for prayer and warned against using the spaces for any political campaigning. A statement by the ministry of endowments also said that all sermons must be under its full supervision. [Aswat Masriya, 7/28/2014]

Nour Party criticizes Amr Moussa alliance after snub
Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party issued a statement Saturday in response to former presidential candidate Amr Mousa’s rejection of their participation in an electoral alliance he is seeking to build. “Electoral alliances based on differentiation, polarization and marginalization and that don’t advance Egypt’s interest over partisan interests die in their cradles, their fate will be to fail,” a statement by Nour Party Secretary General Galal Morra read. Amr Moussa said in a radio appearance that the Salafi Nour Party could not be part of his electoral coalition due to its Islamist ideology. In statements to state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Nour Party President Younis Makhyoun said that the party never sought to join Moussa’s electoral coalition. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 7/27/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi greets Egyptians on Eid al-Fitr | SIS
  • Armed Forces greet Sisi on Eid al-Fitr | SIS


FJP spokesman given suspended sentence
An Egyptian court sentenced Yasser Mehrez, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, to a suspended sentence of two years, commutable on payment of a fine of EGP5,000 ($700). Mehrez, who was arrested in April, was sentenced on accusations of organizing protests, inciting violence and joining an illegal organization that seeks to overthrow the regime. [Ahram Online, 7/26/2014]

Prosecution refers 20 to court on terrorism charges
Egypt’s chief prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, referred 20 men to criminal court on Saturday, charging them with killing three police officers and one citizen, as well as other terrorism charges. A statement released by Barakat’s office said those charged belonged to the terror group Ajnad Misr, which started its attacks after the July ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. The statement said the suspected militants planted explosives around police stations and security checkpoints. Eight of the defendants allegedly admitted to crimes of murder, attempted murder, possession of explosives, vandalizing public property and attempting to bomb public and military institutions, according to the statement. The statement also said that security forces arrested 14 of the 20 defendants, including the alleged leader of Ajnad Misr, believed to have recruited 18 members of the group with the help of another leading member. An arrest warrant was issued for the remaining six defendants. [DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya, 7/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Prosecutor general orders release of 45 students for Eid | DNE
  • 98 students, senior citizens pardoned for Eid | Mada Masr
  • Sisi’s Eid pardons exclude protest-related crimes | Mada Masr
  • Three arrested during Friday protests | DNE
  • Court considers placing Pharmacists Syndicate under judicial guardianship | Egypt Independent
  • Dakahlia court sentences 16 Brotherhood members to three years over protests | Egypt Independent
  • Alexandria professors released after eight months without charge | Mada Masr


World Bank project to cut Egypt’s energy subsidies by $301.5 million
Egypt’s government looks set to save $301.5 million annually in subsidies by connecting 1.5 million households to the natural gas grid. The World Bank, which approved a $500 million loan to fund the Egypt Household Natural Gas Connection Project, said in a statement published on Thursday that the project would reduce costs for households and lower the government’s bill. [Ahram Online, 7/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • EBRD supports international trade in Egypt | The Financial
  • Egyptian government to put EGP 1 billion into tourism sector | Ahram Online
  • Charities struggle during Egypt’s economic crisis | Ahram Online
  • Rise of interest rate to have limited effect on stock market: Experts | DNE
  • Seven banks raise interest rates on deposits after Central Bank decision | DNE
  • Several government banks increase returns on savings certificates | DNE
  • Egyptian banks show ‘impressive growth’ but fall short in Tier 1 capital: The Banker’s report | DNE
  • International bidders compete for manufacture of 700 train cars | Egypt Independent
  • Hitting the salary ceiling | Mada Masr


Sisi urges for sending more aid to Gaza
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged for sending more humanitarian aid to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians, said a military forces statement on Sunday. The statement said that Sisi directed the military to provide Gaza with 50,000 boxes of food and essential supplies and that 15 trucks carrying food supplies moved from Egypt to the Rafah crossing on Sunday. Egyptian Authorities also agreed to open the Rafah border crossing during the three-days of Eid, starting Monday and ending on Thursday. According to privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, a source stated that the crossing would open to enable wounded Palestinian citizens seeking medical care to be treated in Egyptian hospitals and to allow aid convoys and delegations to cross into the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Egypt’s health minister said Sunday that Egypt has received 94 Palestinians wounded in Gaza Strip since it opened its Rafah border crossing following the start of Israel’s offensive against Gaza almost three weeks ago. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 7/27/2014]

Anti-harassment group to form Eid operation rooms
The anti-harassment group I Saw Harassment announced Friday that operation rooms will be organized in Cairo and Kafr al-Sheikh during the Eid holiday to combat increased levels of harassment. In a statement released Friday, just days before the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the group said that Eid celebrations would be a real test to the decree issued by former interim president Adly Mansour which criminalizes sexual harassment. The operation rooms and patrols, entitled Warriors Against Harassment, will be organized “to carry out awareness activities with the aim of eliminating sexual violence crimes and harassment of females in addition to monitoring, documenting and immediately intervening in cases of individual or mass harassment,” the statement read. [DNE, 7/26/2014]

Also of Interest:
Brotherhood defies security, organizes public Eid prayers | Egypt Independent
Military bands greet travelers on Eid holiday | Ahram Online
No deaths in Qalyubeya clashes: Health directorate | Ahram Online
Rights groups: Our turn has come | Ahram Online
Doctor: New Hepatitis C drug cure rate exceeds 90 percent | Egypt Independent
Two armed men rob Mobinil branch in Mohandiseen | Egypt Independent
Sisi receives woman donating her gold earring to ’Long Live Egypt’ fund | SIS


Egypt forces kill 26 suspected militants in Sinai; Destroys 13 Gaza tunnels
Egypt’s army spokesman Mohamed Samir said Saturday that military troops in North Sinai had raided a “terrorist den” killing 12 suspected militants. The operation targeted a jeep, killing five people who were reportedly armed in Sheikh Zuweid. Seven others were also killed in the shootout. Egypt’s Armed Forces and police forces also jointly arrested 18 suspects on Saturday during crackdowns in North Sinai, Ismailia and Daqahliya, said an army spokesman. Egyptian troops also killed 14 Islamist militants and arrested dozens of others early Sunday in the northern Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, state news agency MENA reported. Forty-seven other suspects were arrested and 18 shacks and buildings used as bases for terrorist attacks were destroyed, security sources said. Egypt’s army also said Sunday that it destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to. Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said security forces located and killed on Sunday night one of the most “dangerous” members of the militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. In addition, two police officers were killed by gunmen in North Sinai on Friday afternoon, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. Brigadier generals Mohamed al-Salmy and Omar Fathy were shot dead while taking the Arish high road. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters, 7/26/2014]

Attack downs electricity pylon in Nile Delta
Unknown assailants have blown up an electricity pylon in Qalyubiya governorate, north of Cairo. The attack, late on Saturday, is the latest in a series of similar incidents, an electricity ministry spokesman told Ahram Online. The explosion damaged the trestles of the 500kv tower, causing it to collapse, spokesperson Mohamed Yamany said, without elaborating on how the incident took place. Repairs should take between four to six weeks and cost EGP3 million ($420,000) with necessary diversions being carried out to prevent power shortages in affected areas. The explosion is the seventh in two weeks, according to Ahmed Hanafy, head of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company. [Ahram Online, 7/27/2014]

Also of Interest:


Qatar denies objecting to Egypt’s ceasefire initiative; Abbas to head ‘joint team’ for ceasefire talks in Cairo
As both Hamas and Israel agreed to another humanitarian 24-hour cease-fire on Sunday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Attiya denied in statements to Al Jazeera that Qatar objects to Egypt’s ceasefire initiative. Attiya asserted that Qatar, Turkey and other allies consider Egypt’s role in the Palestinian cause to be important and essential. In an interview with London-based Asharq al-Awsat, Assistant foreign minister, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani, denied reports that Qatar had proposed an initiative to end the conflict in Gaza. Qatar was among several other countries who called for an extension of the 12-hour humanitarian pause which was observed from 8 am on Saturday in the Gaza Strip. Israeli jets struck several sites in Gaza on Monday as rockets continued to fall on Israel, the Israeli military said, disrupting a relative lull in the Gaza war at the start of a major Muslim holiday. The UN Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in the conflict at an emergency meeting early Monday morning, and called on parties “to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative.” Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is to head a team including Hamas for talks in Cairo on sealing a Gaza ceasefire between the Islamist movement and Israel, an official said Monday. [Mada Masr, 7/28/2014]

Egyptians killed in Tripoli rocket attack
Twenty-three Egyptian workers were killed in a rocket attack on Saturday in Tripoli, where militia rivalries are intensifying, state news agency MENA reported. A Grad rocket was fired at the farm home of the Egyptian workers in Tripoli’s western Karimiya region, killing them all, Alaa Hadoura, head of the Egyptian community in Libya, told MENA. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned the killings, and urged citizens to avoid traveling to Libya. The Egyptian government also called on Libyan authorities to quickly investigate the “atrocious” incident and notify it with the identities of those responsible. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 7/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Foreign minister says Egypt-Ethiopia relations cannot be reduced to dam issue | Ahram Online
  • Egypt approves Ethiopia’s request to postpone Nile tripartite talks | SIS
  • Egypt summons Turkish envoy for second time over Erdogan comments | Reuters, Egypt Independent, AP
  • Mahlab to represent Egypt in African-American summit | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi meets Spanish Foreign Minister | SIS
  • Mahlab discusses cooperation with Spain | SIS