Three homemade bombs went off near Egypt’s presidential palace in Cairo on Monday, killing two senior police officers and injuring ten other people on the anniversary of the mass protests that led to the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.


Sabbahi rejects boycott of Egypt’s parliamentary elections
Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi has said that boycotting parliamentary elections will not help the political situation in Egypt, Aswat Masriya reported on Friday. Sabbahi, a leftist politician who is the founder of the Egyptian Popular Current, said “boycotting the parliamentary elections shows weakness and does not help the current political situation.” Speaking at a press conference he held at his Kafr al-Sheikh home district, Sabbahi added, “We must respect the different opinions of all Egyptians.” A group of political parties and groups called for amending the parliamentary elections law, including the Constitution Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance, the Karama Party, the Adl Party, the Freedom Egypt Party, and the Popular Current movement. [Ahram Online, 6/27/2014]

June 30 was victory says Egypt PM; Pro-Morsi camp calls for ‘uprising’
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said in a televised interview on Sunday that “the June 30 revolution was a huge victory and brought happiness to many people.” Mahlab also spoke on a number of issues, including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s meeting with Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. He also urged Egyptians to work during the holy month of Ramadan to overcome the country’s economic crisis. Meanwhile, supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi have called for an uprising on the first anniversary of his ouster, July 3. In a statement on Saturday, The People Defend President Mohamed Morsi campaign accused the armed forces of “conducting the ruin, failure and fall of Egypt.” The group blamed Sisi, who was Morsi’s defense minister at the time of his ouster, for committing “mistakes and disasters”, and said that military rule has prevented the country from accomplishing anything, “except defeat, calamities and bloodshed.” [Ahram Online , 6/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Government discusses 4-million-feddan reclamation | SIS


Egyptian man, two Israelis charged with spying for Israel in Egypt
Egypt’s national security prosecution has referred one Egyptian and two Israelis to criminal court on charges of spying for Israel. Egyptian Salama Burikat has been detained while the two Israelis, one of which is an officer in the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate (AMAN), are at large and will be tried in absentia. According to prosecutors, Burikat received $21,000 for spying as well as housing and furniture worth 19,000 Israeli shekels. A date has yet to be set for the trial. [Ahram Online, 6/29/2014]

Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and others’ retrial 22 July
Cairo’s Appeals Court scheduled the retrial of human rights activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and twenty-five others sentenced to fifteen years on charges of organizing an illegal protest, assaulting police officers and personnel, and vandalism for July 22,  judicial sources said. The charges faced by Abdel-Fattah and the co-defendants stem from a Cairo protest in November 2013 against provisions in a new constitution that allow civilians to be tried in military courts. Authorities said the protest was in breach of a law banning all but police-sanctioned protests. Three of the 25 sentenced in absentia, including Abdel Fattah, were detained outside the courtroom as part of the sentence. Three days after the sentencing, the other defendants presented themselves at the prosecutor general’s office to begin the procedures necessary for a retrial, saying that they believe the sentencing to be revenge for the 25 January revolution. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, 6/29/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt forecasts economic growth above 3 percent in 2014/15 fiscal year
Egypt’s economy is expected to grow by more than 3 percent during the 2014/15 fiscal year, Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian said today, in line with previous forecasts. The minister spoke the day after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved a revised and tightened budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Tuesday. The deficit for the fiscal year 2014/2015 is forecasted to stand at 10 percent of the country’s GDP compared to 12 percent in the fiscal year 2013/14, Mesbah Qotb, spokesperson at the finance ministry, told Ahram Online. Last week, Sisi refused to ratify the state budget for the 2014/2015 fiscal year on the grounds that the budget deficit was excessively high. The reigning in of the budget deficit will be achieved through the introduction of a Value Added Tax (VAT) to replace Egypt’s current complex and unjust web of sales taxes, said Dimian, a move that is eventually expected to bolster state revenues by EGP 40 billion. Energy subsidies will also be subjected to further reform through price hikes and other measures, Dimian said, without going into further detail. [SIS, Aswat Masriya, DNE, Reuters, 6/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s government to raise electricity and petrol prices next month: Minister | Ahram Online
  • Energy subsidy cuts save Egypt 40 bln pounds in new budget – minister | Aswat Masriya
  • BG’s plant in Egypt in talks with Israel to import natural gas | Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya
  • African Development Bank examines $700 million in financing for irrigation projects | DNE
  • Egyptians fail to embrace “austerity” during Ramadan | DNE
  • Fuel shortage exacerbates in Gharbiya | Egypt Independent
  • Electric Utility urges citizens to rationalize electricity consumption | Egypt Independent


Egypt acts to limit Ramadan sermons
Egypt will restrict sermons during the holy month of Ramadan to topics of faith and morality, the Minister of Religious Endowments, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, said Sunday, in the latest measure by the government to control and limit opponents’ access to mosques. Enforcement of Egypt’s new Law of Oration, which regulates Friday sermons in mosques, shut down hundreds of small mosques with unlicensed imams in Egypt. Moreover, dozens of citations were issued against imams who took the pulpit in mosques without a permit. The law stipulates that religious oration and lessons be limited to Al-Azhar graduates who hold a permit from the Ministry of Endowments. Any person violating the law will be imprisoned for up to one year or fined up to EGP 50,000 ($7,000). Gomaa said the decision should ensure that sermons during Islam’s holy month of fasting “unite people, not divide them.” He said the religious speech had been “hijacked” for political purposes, in reference to the previous government, led by former President Mohamed Morsi. [AP, 6/30/2014]

Press council appoints editors of state-owned newspapers
Egypt’s Supreme Press Council appointed on Saturday new editors in chief for state-owned newspapers and magazines. The appointments are based on a law former President Adly Mansour approved last January. The state-run agency MENA said that its new editor in chief is Alaa Heidar. As for Al-Ahram, the council appointed Khaled Tawheed for Al-Ahram al-Riyadi, Amal Fawzi for Nesf al-Donia magazine, Laila al-Raa’i for Alaa al-Din magazine, Emad Ghoneim for Al-Ahram al-Iktisadi, Alaa Thabet for Al-Ahram al-Masaa’i, Galal Nassar for Al-Ahram Weekly, and Fouad Samir for Al-Ahram Hebdo. [Aswat Masriya, 6/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • NGO ‘shocked’ at continued detention of anti-Protest Law demonstrators | DNE
  • Al-Jazeera sentences an ‘appalling attack on press freedom’: IFEX | DNE
  • Egypt’s army says ‘virus cure’ needs more tests | Ahram Online, AP, SIS, The Guardian
  • Hunger strikes see rising use as protest in Egypt’s jails | DNE
  • PM denies giving instructions banning show of series criticizing police | Egypt Independent
  • Novelist Ahdaf Soueif condemns ‘war on young’ as Egypt activists stand trial | The Guardian


Two policemen killed, ten injured in blasts at presidential palace
Three homemade bombs went off near Egypt’s presidential palace in Cairo on Monday, killing two senior police officers and injuring ten other people on the anniversary of the mass protests that led to the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The first policeman, Colonel Ahmed al-Ashmawy, an explosives expert at the Cairo security directorate, was killed while attempting to defuse the first device and three other police officers from the explosives department were injured. A second policeman, whose name and rank has not been disclosed, was killed in a third explosion. The militant group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said it had planted several bombs near the presidential palace to target security forces before realizing that civilians could be in danger. It later released a statement saying it had been unable to remove the devices and urging passersby to be cautious. Security forces were successfully able to defuse two additional bombs. Security forces closed Tahrir Square after the explosions. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Reuters, Egypt Independent, The Guardian, Aswat Masriya, 6/30/2014]

Truce declared after clan clashes in Egypt’s Aswan
Egyptian officials held an overnight reconciliation meeting between two feuding clans two days after a tribal vendetta was revived in the Egyptian southern governorate of Aswan, leaving two dead. Government officials from the interior ministry, however, said the deadly clashes were unrelated to tribal violence in Aswan that left dozens dead in April. A committee comprising the local governor and security and military officials reached a reconciliation agreement between the two large tribes in a meeting that lasted to Saturday dawn, a source from the committee told Al-Ahram. On Saturday, security officials also announced the arrest of two men responsible for Thursday’s clashes. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Explosion at small Cairo telephone exchange kills two | Reuters
  • Four police personnel killed in Egypt’s North Sinai | Ahram Online, DNE , Reuters, Aswat Masriya
  • Two killed in Egypt’s Sinai attack on police officer | Ahram Online
  • Explosion in October 6 City, one girl dead | Ahram Online 
  • Police clash with pro-Morsi protesters ahead of July 3 anniversary | Ahram Online 
  • Rafah Border crossing reopened for two days for Palestinian Pilgrims | DNE
  • Security source: Rafah massacre defendants attempted to escape | Egypt Independent
  • Over 200 arrested attempting to leave Egypt | DNE


Egypt and Ethiopia agree that tripartite dam committee will resume its work
Egypt and Ethiopia will form a joint committee in the upcoming three months to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, the foreign ministers of both countries announced in a joint statement on Friday. The statement came after Egypt`s new president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, met with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, after the African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo. According to the statement, the Ethiopian government is committed to avoid any potential damage that could result from the Grand Renaissance dam currently being built on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/27/2014]

Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz donates one million Saudi riyals to Sisi initiative
Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, president of the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, has donated one million Saudi riyals (US$266,631) to the “Long Live Egypt” fund. The campaign was announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to support the Egyptian economy. [Egypt Independent, 6/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi: increased cooperation between Egypt and Sudan to come | Ahram Online
  • Emir of Qatar congratulates Sisi on Ramadan | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s embassies celebrate June 30 Revolution first anniversary | Ahram Online
  • Violence in Iraq costs Egypt EGP 10 billion | DNE