Amid a general calming on Saturday in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula remained a hot spot, when a gas pipeline was bombed, probably by Muslim radicals who have announced an insurrection against the military after it deposed President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise in Sinai, a Coptic Christian priest was shot dead. Some Muslim radicals unfairly blame the Coptic Christian minority for the overthrow of Morsi.
On Sunday, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the left-liberal Rebellion youth movement are calling for mass rallies to support their respective position. The Egyptian military has pledged that freedom of peaceable assembly will be preserved for all. The Rebellion Movement has called for there to be a big rally in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on behalf of “popular legitimacy” and in support of the Egyptian army.
Interim appointed president Adly Mansour attempted to make Mohamed Elbaradei his prime minister on Saturday, but put the process on hold when the ultra-fundamentalist Salafi Nur Party objected.
Nur said that Elbaradei is too ‘secular’.
Eight persons were wounded and one killed on Saturday throughout Egypt. In contrast, on Friday some 36 were killed and over 1000 wounded in fighting between supporters of Morsi and his detractors.
In other news, the new government reinstated the Fara`een satellite television station of Tawfiq Okasha (a right wing conspiracy theorist sometimes compared to Glenn Beck), which had just been banned by Morsi in a series of steps the previous government took to muzzle and repress media critical of Morsi.
It seems likely that the Muslim Brotherhood deliberately showed restraint in its quest to see Morsi reinstated, after the eruption of violence (on both sides) on Friday. It may also be that the Brotherhood’s leadership received effective pressure from the army to back down.
The USG Open Source Center paraphrased this item from Saturday’s press:
“The Cairo-based independent pro-reform Al-Shuruq al-Jadid daily, which supports revolution youth groups, reports at 2157 GMT that Mustafa Abd al-Karim, the public prosecutor in Suhaj, is overseeing the investigation of 31 supporters of ousted president Muhammad Mursi suspected of instigating riots and terrorizing citizens. It reports that “Sheikh Ala Siddiq, secretary general of the Construction and Development Party in Suhaj, said that 23 of the Mursi supporters detained on 4 July by the security forces have started an open-ended hunger strike because of maltreatment by the security forces. Meanwhile, an official security source denied that they are on hunger strike and said they are treating them very well.”
Likewise, MENA reported on July 6 of Damanhour that anti-riot police arrested Khalid and Tariq, the two sons of Muslim Brotherhood leader Gamal Hishmat, after 12 were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Mursi demonstrators on Friday. You wonder if the sons are more or less hostages to the good behavior of the father (if so, this way of proceeding is illegal in international law).