Egypt’s armed forces said on Friday that it will not allow acts of revenge between rival factions and assaults on party offices and public properties, calling for reconciliations ahead of planned rallies by supporters of ousted president Mohammad Mursi.
In a statement posted on its Facebook, the armed forces warned against “falling into an endless circle of revenge,” saying it was keen to avoid any extraordinary or arbitrary measures against any faction or political movement.
The United States had pressed Egypt on Thursday to avoid the “arbitrary arrests” of previous regime officials.
Following Mursi’s ouster a number of Islamist-linked television stations were taken off air and top Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested.
The ousted president was placed under house arrest and is due facing judicial action next week in what Islamists see as a campaign of revenge mounted against them by members of the Mubarak’s regime believed to be still holding key state and security positions.
The army’s statement said it respects the right to peaceful demonstration, but warned against violence and civil disobedience that “harm the social peace.”
The National Alliance of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups called for mass protests in what they called as “Friday of rejection” to denounce the military ouster of elected president Mursi.
In response, forces opposed to Mursi plan to continue demonstrating in Tahrir square and other parts of the country to protect their gains.
The Muslim Brotherhood has said it will not take arms to fight against the army’s decision to overthrow Mursi, but warned that extremist Islamist groups are likely to go that road.
Islamist groups in Sinai announced the formation of a “council of war” to fight for the “legitimacy” of the ousted president against the army.
On Thursday, a soldier was killed in an attack on army and police positions by Islamist militants in Sinai.Transport Minister Yaakov Katz was the first to speak publicly but said very little. “We are not relating at the moment to what is going on over there. It is an internal Egyptian issue,” he told army radio.
“We must look after our own borders and our own interests and that is what we are doing.”
Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel was watching carefully to see how the situation would develop.
“The government is closely monitoring the situation in Egypt but is not making any predictions because things are still developing,” he told AFP.
“It is important that the Egyptian people can enjoy a new level of freedom and self-determination … but the current situation has sent shock waves throughout the Arab world and it is causing some concern in Israel,” he said.
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