Egypt: Protests breach presidential palace cordon

Riot police tear-gas demonstrators outside Morsi's palace; thousands stage "last warning" protests against Morsi decree.

By REUTERS
December 4, 2012 18:50
2 minute read.
Anti Morsi protests in Tahrir Square Nov 27.

Anti Morsi protests in Tahrir Square Nov 27 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

CAIRO - Egyptian police fired tear gas at protesters demonstrating against President Mohamed Morsi's drive to hold a snap referendum on a new constitution and some broke through police lines around his palace, live television footage showed.

Several thousand protesters had gathered nearby in what they dubbed "last warning" protests against Morsi, who has angered opponents with a November 22 decree that expanded his powers. "The people want the downfall of the regime," chanted the protesters.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Morsi ignited a storm of unrest in his bid to prevent a judiciary still packed with appointees of ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak from derailing a troubled political transition.

Riot police had earlier mustered around the palace as activists chanted "leave, leave" and held up Egyptian flags with "no to the constitution" written on them. Other protesters assembled in front of two mosques north of Cairo before marching towards the palace.

"Many of our national leaders and youth will join us in our marches today," said Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for the opposition coalition. "Our marches are against tyranny and the void constitutional decree and we won't retract our position until our demands are met."

Still, by early evening there was only a limited response to opposition calls for a mass campaign of civil disobedience in the Arab world's most populous country and cultural hub, where many people yearn for a return to stability.

A few hundred protesters gathered earlier near Morsi's house in a suburb east of Cairo, chanting slogans against his decree and against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which the president emerged to win a free election in June. Police closed the road to stop them from coming any closer, a security official said.



Liberals, leftists, Christians and others have accused Morsi of staging a dictatorial power grab to steamroller through a constitution drafted by an assembly packed with Islamists, with a referendum planned for Dec. 15.

Egypt's most widely read independent newspapers did not publish on Tuesday in protest at Morsi's "dictatorship". Banks planned to close three hours early, one bank official said.

Abdelrahman Mansour in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the cradle of the anti-Mubarak revolt, said: "The presidency believes the opposition is too weak and toothless. Today is the day we show them the opposition is a force to be reckoned with.

"Morsi must come out to talk and hear the people, the opposition," the activist went on. "The opposition says 'no' to the constitution and 'no' to autocracy."

After having pushed the Egyptian military command out of the political driving seat it held for decades, the Islamists sense their moment has come to shape the future of Egypt, a longtime US ally whose 1979 peace treaty with Israel is a cornerstone of Washington's Middle East policy.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, who staged a huge pro-Mursi demonstration on Saturday, are confident that enough members of the judiciary will be available to oversee the December 15 referendum, despite calls by some judges for a boycott.

Cairo stocks closed 3.5 percent up on Tuesday as investors took heart at what they saw as prospects for a return to stability in a country whose divisions have only widened since a mass uprising toppled Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

Mohamed Radwan, at Pharos Securities brokerage, said the Supreme Judicial Council's agreement to supervise the referendum had generated confidence that the vote would happen "despite all the noise and demonstrations that might take place until then".

Related Content

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defense
July 15, 2018
Key Mossad docs confirm extent of Iranian nuke plan revealed by Netanyahu

By YONAH JEREMY BOB