Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Off the coast of the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval vessels open fire on Palestinian fishermen nr. Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops also conduct a limited incursion nr. al-Maghazi r.c. in the Gaza Strip, reportedly including a bomb detection device. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 8 villages and al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, 2 villages nr. Jenin, 2 villages nr. Nablus, and 1 village each nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah. (PCHR 7/4)

The Egyptian armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announces the ousting of Pres. Mohamed Morsi and the suspension of the constitution, as the military’s 48-hour deadline passes without Morsi relinquishing office as demanded. Al-Sisi appoints Adly Mansour, head of the constitutional court, as interim president for an indefinite period of time, but says that presidential and parliamentary elections will follow in due course. Al-Sisi makes his address in front of a symbolically-loaded panel featuring religious leaders, Mohamed El-Baradei, and a representative of the Tamarod campaign, which drove the anti-Morsi protests. Late at night, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson says that Morsi is being held in an unknown location, while a military official says that the head and deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party have been arrested, and that arrest warrants for 300 Brotherhood members have been issued. Following al-Sisi’s announcement, opponents of Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square, while clashes in Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, and the s. city of Minya kill some 30 people and leaves hundreds wounded. U.S. Pres. Barack Obama expresses concern about the military’s actions in a written statement issued by the White House. A U.S. official says that the State Dept. has ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats and families of embassy personnel to leave the country. (AP, NYT, REU 7/3, Guardian 7/4)