Gaza Residents Watch Closely as Events Unfold in Egypt

Created: 2013-07-04 11:17 EST

Residents of the Gaza Strip watched closely on Wednesday the latest developments in neighbouring Egypt.
Egypt's army commander and Islamist President Mohamed Mursi each pledged his life to defy the other as the hour approached that will trigger a military take-over that was prompted by mass demonstrations.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim brotherhood who is in control of Gaza, has enjoyed a good relationship with the Islamist Egyptian rulers. However, recent crackdown on smuggling tunnels by the Mursi government resulted in a fuel and goods crisis in Gaza.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi vowed to stay in power and defend constitutional legitimacy as generals worked on plans to push the Islamist aside within the day and suspend the constitution.
In a defiant midnight television address on Tuesday responding to military demands that he share power with his opponents or see the army impose its own solution, Mursi warned that any deviation from the democratic order approved in a series of votes last year would lead Egypt down a dangerous path.
He was speaking as vast crowds of protesters rallied in central Cairo and across the nation to demand the Muslim Brotherhood politician's resignation in a third night of mass demonstrations.
The masses in Egypt cite the lack of economic development and failed foreign diplomacy as some of many reasons for protesting against Mursi and his rule.
Gaza resident Ahmed Hassouna said some of Egypt's problems sounded familiar to him.
[Ahmed Hassouna]:
"Even in Egypt the electricity is being cut off, the diesel is not available and people are queuing at gas stations that ran out of diesel or petrol... In Gaza today you can't find electricity of petrol so the crisis is similar whether in Egypt or in Gaza."
Over the last few days, Egyptian troops boosted their presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border.
Hamas declined to comment.