Constitution Drafted This Week Says Egyptian Official
The Secretary General of Egypt’s Constitutional Assembly, Amr Darrag, announced Tuesday that the country’s new constitution will be drafted by the week’s end. According to Darrag, all committees have finished reviewing proposals and will submit their suggestions to the drafting committee, who will then present a constitution to the full assembly. The vote on whether to keep Egypt’s upper house, the Shura Council, will also take place this week.
Additionally, in a post on their website, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood placed the blame for Sunday’s attack in Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers on Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The Islamist group alleged that Mossad plotted the attack in an attempt to thwart the revolution and cast a shadow on the Morsi administration. Israel, however, has blamed Hamas for the attack.
Meanwhile, the Rafah border station, the only Gaza crossing controlled by Egypt, has been closed until further notice, the government announced Tuesday. The closure is part of a broader campaign to assert control of all movement across the border, including an effort to seal off smuggling tunnels into Gaza that bring people as well as goods back and forth. Gazans reportedly waited in long lines Monday to buy supplies for fear that the tunnel closures will lead to soaring prices.
Also, the Washington Post editorial board argues that Sunday’s attack in the Sinai is further evidence of the urgent need for increased U.S. cooperation with the Egyptian government on the security of “a border vital to the preservation of Middle East peace.” Rather than U.S military aid being spent on F-16′s and other weapons systems, the board says these funds would be better allocated to counterinsurgency and intelligence training for “what will be, at best, a difficult and prolonged campaign to restore order in the Sinai.”
In addition, Barak Barfi writes that the U.S. is overly focused on Egypt’s transition to democracy at the expense of addressing the vast structural problems which, he says, are at the root of popular discontent. “Egyptians are focused on purifying an ossified political system that prevents social mobility and is rife with corruption,” Barfi writes, adding that the power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military is neglecting this demand, and so the U.S. must step in to refocus their priorities.