While Obama struggles to remove his head from Morsi's ass:
"Live blog: Egypt in turmoil" The Times of IsraelLatest: Egyptian diplomats go on strikeArmored vehicles and soldiers mass at university, other key sites; top government officials claim military taking over; reports that Egypt’s president and top advisers put under house arrest; Egyptians awaiting word from military; conflicting reports over who controls state TV
- Egypt, in the throes of a military coup
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- Morsi defiantly says he won’t step down
- Israel nervously watches Egyptian crisis
- Remember, remember, the third of July
- Egypt’s pope hails protesters taking back ‘stolen revolution’
- Millions take to Egyptian streets as army threatens elections
- ElBaradei to represent Egypt’s opposition in political talks
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is defiant in the face of millions of protesters, but reports emerging out of Egypt indicate the military be staging a coup to remove him from power. Stay tuned to The Times of Israel’s live blog for all the developments in Egypt.
Egyptian diplomats go on strike
A group of nearly one hundred Egyptian diplomats have gone on strike, Ahram Online reports. According to state media arm MENA, the diplomats are striking in solidarity with the protesters and are against the “failure of the president to meet the people’s demands.”
Troops take positions in Alexandria
A photo posted to Twitter shows troops rolling into the coastal city of Alexandria.
An Egyptian military spokesman recently posted on Facebook that the army is not taking sides between supporters of President Mohammed Morsi and protesters.
“Our army is seeking to secure all Egyptians, regardless of their affiliations. We call on local and international media not to spread any inaccurate information that may drive a wedge between the army and the people,” the statement read, according to Al Jazeera.
Morsi still president but situation fluid, US says
The US says that the situation in Egypt is fluid and cannot confirm if there is currently a military coup in process.
A “peaceful political resolution is the best option for Egypt,” US State Department representative Jen Psaki says in press conference, adding that all sides must take steps for dialogue and that President Morsi “must be more responsive” to the concerns of the Egyptian people.
Psaki says that the US has taken pains not to choose sides in the Egyptian crisis, but in reply to a question acknowledges that currently, the US still considers Morsi the democratically elected president of Egypt.
A separate, unconfirmed report indicates that the US embassy in Cairo, one of America’s largest and most fortified, has been closed for the time being, and is likely to remain so until the unrest is resolved.
Straight-faced Syrian minister calls on Morsi to leave
In the colors a pot calls a kettle department, Syria’s embattled regime has called on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to realize everyone wants him out and step down.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told reporters in Damascus Wednesday that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood is a “terrorist” organization and a “US” tool.”
Morsi last month enraged Syrian officials by announcing he was severing ties with Damascus and closing its embassy in the Syrian capital.
Syria’s own embattled leader, President Bashar Assad, is facing an insurgency at home. Assad has refused to step down, calling the revolt an international conspiracy. (With AP)
Troops erect barbed wire outside barracks holding Morsi
Troops reportedly erect barbed wire fencing and other barriers around a Republican Guard barracks, where Morsi is said to be holed up, according to a Reuters journalist.
The army, which is also deploying troops at a pro-Morsi rally outside the Rabaa Adaweya Mosque, says it is only securing the area and seeking to protect Morsi from protesters.
Meanwhile, protesters in Tahrir are continuing to chant loudly as fireworks explode all around. A military helicopter recently hovered overhead, eliciting strong cheers from the crowd.
New president must pay attention to all sectors, student leader says
“I don’t know who will replace Morsi,” Cairo University student union head Hesham Ashraf tells Channel 2 in a televised interview. Speaking excellent Hebrew, Ashraf says “the whole nation is afraid” but the people hope for a peaceful transition to new elections.
The new president this time, he says, “needs to be someone who deserves the opportunity… someone who will pay attention not just to the Muslim Brotherhood,” a reference to a central complaint of the protesters, that Morsi only follows a religious agenda and does not pay attention to other groups in Egyptian society.
Ashraf, an independent, beat out the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in March to become head of the student union at Egypt’s largest university.
Communications reportedly cut off with Morsi
Contact with President Morsi has been reportedly cut off and his whereabouts are unknown, according to the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, who was giving an interview with CNN.
However, according to a presidential aide Morsi is holed up in his
office at Republican Guard headquarters, the Guardian reports. The aid
says that “nothing physical has happened yet” despite the large
opposition crowd that is gathered outside.
Troops heading to Tahrir, Cairo University
BBC Arabic reporter Claire Reed snaps a picture of armored military vehicles crossing the Oct. 6th bridge heading to Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters are gathered.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen reports that armored vehicles pulled into Cairo University, between opposing pro- and anti-Morsi rallies, leaving a light force of soldiers behind.
New York Times’s Kareem Fahim says soldiers in Nasr City told Islamists that they are there for security, but some fear violence may explode at any minute.
Islamists and soldiers reportedly fighting in the streets
Soldiers and Islamist Morsi supporters are battling at a pro-Morsi rally in Nasr City, New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim reports.
In a series of dramatic tweets, Fahim describes how soldiers approached the rally in armored vehicles, then deployed while wielding riot control gear.
Some of the pro-Morsi crowd then jumped on top of the vehicle, leading to a confrontation, and the soldiers fired in the air in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
President working from military barracks, aide says
An aide to Mohammed Morsi says the Egyptian president is still working from within a military barracks, Sky News reports. The British station quotes the aide saying it’s unclear whether Morsi is free to leave.
The president has reportedly called on Egyptians to resist the military takeover peacefully, according to an aide quoted by Reuters.
US defense secretary talked with al-Sisi
Egyptian army head General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talked with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday to discuss the Egyptian crisis, a Pentagon spokesman says.
The two military leaders also spoke last week, Reuters reports. Pentagon representative George Little said that the calls were not previously disclosed due to the delicate situation facing Egypt.
Palestinians bicker over Egypt response
Earlier today, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinians not to intervene in the internal affairs of Egypt.
“We respect the will of the Egyptian people and hope that Egypt exits these trying times stronger so that it may continue leading the Arab world,” Abbas said according to official PA news agency WAFA.
But Hamas understood this statement as a backhanded critique of its policies, as independent Egyptian media has long accused Hamas of intervening in the Egyptian revolution and colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas official Salah Bardawil called the PA statement “cheap opportunism,” adding that “Hamas has never and will never intervene in the internal affairs of any Arab country,” the Palestinian Information Center, a Hamas news agency, reported.
Muslim Brotherhood official: Tanks in the streets
Tanks are moving through the streets of Cairo and Egypt is facing a complete military coup, according to Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad.
‘Travel ban on Morsi’
A travel ban has been placed on president Mohammed Morsi and his top advisers, Agence France-Presse reports. A travel ban had been rumored earlier in the day and would be one of the first stages in removing Morsi from power.
Top Morsi adviser: It’s a ‘military coup’
The armed forces are instigating a “military coup,” according to Morsi adviser Essam El Haddan, who is the president’s assistant for Foreign Relations and External Cooperation.
“As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page. For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup,” El Haddan wrote on his office’s official Facebook page.
In the lengthy statement, El Haddan said that he himself participated in the original 2011 Tahrir demonstrations, but the current round will delegitimize Egyptian democracy and lead to violence.
Warning of “considerable bloodshed,” El Haddan said that if the government falls, it will send a message that “democracy is not for Muslims.”
Morsi has offered considerable concessions to the protesters, who have some legitimate grievances, he said, but in a real democracy if the public is not satisfied with the government, “the president loses the next election or his party gets penalized in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Anything else is mob rule.”
Coup may be beginning
Egypt may be seeing the beginnings of a military coup. Reuters reports that a national security adviser says that a coup is under way.
Establishment daily Al-Ahram reports that soldiers are deploying on the streets of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo.
In a statement on Facebook, Egypt’s military confirms it is meeting with “religious, national, political and youth figures” and will issue a statement soon.
Readying for army statement
Opposition group April 6 Coalition tweets that Egypt’s radio frequencies have united in preparation for the army’s statement. (Elhanan Miller)
Pro-Morsi rally calls for army chief to leave
A pro-Morsi rally has sprung up outside a Cairo mosque where Egyptians backing the Muslim Brotherhood have gathered to rally behind the president.
Holding placards with pictures of Morsi and waving Egyptian flags, the demonstrators are calling for army chief al-Sissi to step down.