Deputy Prime Minister Appointed

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced the appointment of lawyer and founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party Ziad Bahaa Eddin for deputy Prime Minister. Bahaa El-Din announced that, though he had initially hesitated because of Egypt’s “acute polarization,” he chose to take the position. Bahaa Eddin was initially considered, along with Mohamed Elbaradei, for the position of Prime Minister, though the Salafist Nour Party opposed both candidates.

News emerged that US lawmakers would soon consider legislation to ease existing constraints on foreign aid. Legislation exists that restricts the provision of aid to countries where a coup has ousted a democratically elected leader, prompting State Department and White House reluctance towards describing the fall of Mohamed Morsi as a “coup.” The new legislation would allow for “national security” waivers of such restrictions, meaning that the US government would be allowed to  provide aid in the greater interest of US national security.

Germany called both for further information concerning the whereabouts of Mohamed Morsi and for his release, according to a foreign ministry spokesman. The spokesman also called for a “trusted institution,” such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to be given access to Morsi. The Egyptian foreign ministry had declared that Morsi was being held “in a safe place for his safety.” Al-Ahram also indicated that while charges against Morsi had not yet been filed, “military and judicial sources say [that] he may eventually face charges.” In a move from its previous silence on the detention of Morsi, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that the United States agreed with Germany’s position.

Yousri Hammad, vice chairman of the Salafist al-Watan Party, blamed the National Salvation Front for Egypt’s current “state of strife and division.” He went on to accuse the NSF both of extracting “political gains under the protection of the [military]” and of “[excluding] political rivals [via media] that promotes hate and violence.” Hammad also denounced the eruption of violence between anti- and pro-Morsi protesters.

The organizers of the Tamarod campaign asked Egyptians to send in their nominations for cabinet positions in the interim government via their Facebook page. Tamarod leaders had earlier participated in talks over cabinet appointments with interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi.

Egypt again closed the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip following a two-day period of being “partially open.” The crossing was initially closed on July 5 after an attack on security forces stationed there, and it re-opened to allow stranded foreigners and Palestinians to pass through.

Unknown attackers planted mines and fired shots at military vehicles at a security checkpoint in the al-Wahshi area of Sheikh Zuweid in Northern Sinai. Two other checkpoints were attacked in the vicinity of al-Arish—the Al-Marhala Al-Rabaa checkpoint, site of an earlier attack that resulted in the death of Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Abdel Enein, and the El-Mahager checkpoint. Other attackers fired at the Rafah City Council building with RPGs, injuring two security personnel. Three of the attackers involved in one of these actions were identified as Palestinians (including Abdel Aziz Abu Shaar), and all three were arrested and charged with “attacking military institutions and vital institutions.”