Today was the first day of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. Early on Wednesday, unknown individuals fired on a checkpoint near al-Arish Airport in North Sinai. Gunfire was exchanged with security forces. There was also an attack at the Central Security Forces camp in the border town of Rafah. No injuries were reported at either location.
Amnesty International released a report concluding that Egyptian security forces used excessive force against supporters of Morsi on multiple occasions, including July 5 and July 8. By their count, 88 people had died since Friday, July 5, with hundreds having been injured. The Muslim Brotherhood also denounced the violence of the past weeks and called for a “million-man demonstration” on Friday to show support for Morsi. Specifically, the Brotherhood called for marches to al-Nahda Square from all mosques in Giza and to Raba’a al-Adaweya Square from all mosques in Cairo. Both Gehad al-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Saad Emara (of the Freedom and Justice Party) stated that marches would be held every Friday until Morsi regains power. “We shall not negotiate with anyone,” Emara added.
Assem Abdel Maged, leader of Jama’a al-Islamiyya, stated that Morsi supporters “will fight for elected legitimacy and for Islam. We will not abandon the squares.” He added that his supporters will not negotiate with any government not led by Morsi. Nour Party leader Younis Makhyoun stated on Wednesday that the party will not present any candidates for the interim government. Wanting an independent, technocratic government, he added that “we will nominate experts from outside the party” (i.e. those with no political affiliation).
Warrants were issued for the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, and nine others for incitement in connection to Monday’s violence at the Republican Guard headquarters. The nine others named are: Brotherhood Deputy Guide Mahmoud Ezzat, senior Brotherhood member Mohamed El-Beltagy, Freedom and Justice Party Vice Chairman Essam El-Erian, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya’s Assem Abd El-Maged, Brotherhood supporter Safwat Hegazy, Wasat Party Vice Chairman Essam Sultan, Building and Development Party Vice Chairman Safwat Abd El-Ghany, Islamist activist Abd El-Rahman Ezz, and Muslim Brotherhood consultative council member Mahmoud Hussein. Charges for these people were only specified as “planning, inciting and aiding criminal acts.”
Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday that the United States had been funding anti-Morsi organizations and individuals via democracy promotion programs for at least as long as Morsi has been in power. The article, which provoked considerable controversy, came under great scrutiny from both US and Egyptian voices over the coming days. Sultan al Qassemi noted that the firestorm of criticism spawned by the article simply added on to the difficulties encountered by the media giant (ranging from state-sponsored raids on its buildings to significant staff resignations due to “coverage that was out of sync with real events in Egypt.”).
Finally, Kuwait joined its neighbors Saudi Arabia and the UAE in pledging $4 billion in aid to Egypt’s transitional government. This act brought the total amount of aid pledged by the Gulf states to $12 billion. Kuwait’s aid will take the form of $2 billion in central bank deposits, $1 billion in petroleum products, and $1 billion in cash.