Tanks move up to Israel border
DEBKAfileSpecial Report August 12, 2012, 7:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Having gained control of the Egyptian parliament, government and presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood has made itself the unchallenged ruler of Egypt. Demoting the heads of the military leaves the MB in control of the biggest army in the Arab world.
Two months after assuming the presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohamed Morsi swept away the powerful pro-American Supreme Military Council heads ruling Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. Sunday. Aug. 12, he fired the Egyptian Defense Minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the Egyptian chief of staff Gen. Hafez Sami Annan and three more generals and appointed Field Marshall Abd al-Fatah Sissi defense minister and Gen. Sidki Sobhi chief of staff in their place.
The three generals also sacked were Air Force chief Rezza Abd al-Megid, Navy commander Mahab Muhamed Mamish and Air Defense chief Abd Al-Aziz Muhamed Seif.
President Morsi also annulled the law amendments endowing the military with broad powers.
debkafile reports: Field Marshal Tantawi and Gen. Annan were regarded as the last major impediments to the Muslim Brotherhood’s complete takeover of Egypt. Morsi’s action has cast Egypt’s military caste out into uncertain territory with regard to its future status in government.
Morsi’s actions in the last month have aroused serious concern in the United States and Israel. His coup Sunday will give them more unsavory food for thought. They will not have missed the sudden arrival of Egyptian army M-60 tanks (made in the US) right up to the Israeli border of Sinai while the new appointments were announced in Cairo.
It is still not yet clear whether the Israeli government and army were caught off guard or gave permission for this extreme exception to the demilitarized clauses of their 1979 peace treaty. However, last week, the Egyptian president said that treaty clauses not deemed beneficial to Egyptian interests by the new regime would have to go. Israel did not respond to this statement.
In another new departure, he appointed a former senior judge Mohamed Mahmud Makki vice president, a new office in Egyptian government.
debkafile was the only publication to report that the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi were exploiting the terrorist attack in Sinai to rid Cairo of the pro-Western military control of the Egyptian government. A faster worker, Morsi has achieved this in exactly seven days.