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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Did Morsi fire Tantawi over Rafah crossing?

Yesterday, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi replaced the leadership of the Egyptian army, including Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi who was the leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Arabic media today is reporting that Morsi and Tantawi had a sharp argument in the hours before the dismissal.

According to multiple articles, Tantawi said that he had evidence that the militants who were attacking Egyptian soldiers and others in the Sinai came from Gaza, and he insisted that the Rafah crossing be closed once and for all because of the magnitude of the threat to Egyptian national security.

Morsi, who had made promises to Hamas to enlarge the Rafah crossing, responded that Palestinian Arabs would never accept such a closure.

Tantawi said that this was a military decision, and the SCAF is the party that should make this decision. Morsi cut him off, saying "I am the Supreme Commander of the armed forces."

Tantawi and other military leaders were replaced within hours, according to these reports.