Egypt

Since a July 2013 military coup, Egypt has sought to reassert state authority undermined by the 2011 uprising at the expense of political inclusion, especially of the Muslim Brotherhood. The resulting polarisation has encouraged mounting political violence from the Islamic State (ISIS) and other violent groups, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula where a low-level insurgency has raged. In the Nile Valley, in 2017, ISIS has targeted the Coptic Christian minority, while al-Qaeda affiliates and other groups tied to the Brotherhood have targeted security forces. Crisis Group is urging the government to be more inclusive and address widespread violations of human and political rights, to better address security and economic challenges.

CrisisWatch Egypt

Deteriorated Situation

Tensions with Israel worsened amid deadly border incident and as govt suspended humanitarian coordination in Gaza; new external credit offered financial reprieve. 

Tensions soared at border after Israel launched Rafah offensive in Gaza. Exchange of fire with Israeli forces at border crossing at southern Gazan city of Rafah 27 May left one soldier dead and others injured; although much remained unclear about what happened, incident marked heightened tensions throughout month. Earlier, after Israeli troops 7 May took over Palestinian side of Rafah border point (see Israel/Palestine) – traversing Philadelphi Corridor in which Cairo maintains limited military presence – Foreign Ministry same day issued statement condemning move as “dangerous escalation”; state media 11 May announced authorities’ refusal to coordinate humanitarian operations with Israel, halting flow of aid through Rafah border. Govt 15 May rejected Israeli proposal to reopen Rafah crossing under Israeli supervision, instead reiterating border point must be in hands of Palestinian authorities; FM Shoukry 20 May justified deadlock and suspension of aid by arguing Israeli military endangers aid convoys. Following diplomatic engagement with Washington, aid deliveries restarted through nearby Kerem Shalom crossing 26 May, although Israel 29 May announced it had taken full control of Philadelphi Corridor. Meanwhile, amid deteriorating Gaza situation, govt 12 May said it would support South Africa in legal action against Israel alleging genocide at International Court of Justice.

Short-term economic outlook stabilised as Cairo negotiated key financing deals. Govt 15 May received $14bn from United Arab Emirates in second tranche of funds from Ras al-Hekma deal for development of real estate on Mediterranean coast. Authorities 18 May met with International Monetary Fund delegation to discuss possible additional loan of $1.2bn for promotion of climate and green transition projects.

In another important development. Amid govt’s ongoing crackdown on pro-Palestinian protesters, authorities 8-9 May arrested two students and 13 May issued order to detain them for fifteen days on charges of joining terrorist organisation and publishing false news. Court 27 May upheld one year prison sentence for former presidential hopeful Ahmed Tantawi on forgery chargers, banning him from running in elections for five years.

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In The News

8 jún 2024
The Egyptian acts are pushed on the one hand by a sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause but on the other hand as a matter of security. Al-Monitor

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
31 máj 2024
The tensions between Egypt and Israel on the Gaza border are effectively fuelling tensions between the U.S. and Egypt. Middle East Eye

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
17 jan 2024
[Egypt] cannot live with the permanent displacement of Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza war’s crippling economic effects and risks of regional war. Bloomberg

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
15 jan 2024
Things have been very tense [on Gaza's border with Egypt], but there are limits to how far these tensions can go on a strategic level. The National

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
7 dec 2023
If the war goes the way it’s been going, the border between Egypt and Gaza will come under immense pressure. Reality might have a say then. The National

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.

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Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
Michael Wahid Hanna

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
Riccardo Fabiani

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