Current Egyptian Information Minister Ossama Heikal
Egyptian Minister of Information Ossama Heikal made a televised statement summing up the outcome of a meeting that took place earlier in the day between Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and the crisis-management group in of his cabinet with members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The meeting was to discuss a response to fierce clashes that took place yesterday in the area of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and the Giza Security Directorate premises nearby, resulting in the injury of over 1000 people, and the death of three.
In a strong-worded statement, Heikal began by saying that “deterrent actions” will be taken to face the “crisis” that Egypt is currently undergoing. One of the main actions will be applying the provisions of emergency law, which were relaxed after the January 25 Revolution, though the state of emergency was not lifted.
Heikal affirmed Egypt’s “international commitments” to relevant treaties and agreements, alluding to the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel, as well as Egypt’s commitment to protecting foreign envoys within its territories. Heikal called on Egypt’s political forces and media to “take responsibility for their role in the current laxity in security and morals.”
Regarding the clashes that took place last night between protesters and security forces in the area between the Israeli Embassy and the Giza Security Directorate building around Nahda Square in Giza, Heikal began by stating “some have taken advantage of the restraint adopted by security forces and attempted to provoke them”.
He added: “Those who have made such attempts can never be regarded as honourable.” Heikal also announced that the “rioters” arrested during yesterday’s clashes would be referred to trial before the Higher State Security Court, in accordance with Emergency Law.