Parliament to review presidential decree on security conditions in N. Sinai
Map of Sinai

CAIRO: The House of Representatives is scheduled this week to discuss a decree issued by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to extend the state of emergency in some areas in North Sinai, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal was quoted by Youm7 Wednesday.

The presidential decree, addressed by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail Tuesday, will be reviewed by lawmakers during separate meetings before it is referred to the cabinet’s general committee, said Abdel Aal.

According to the constitution passed in 2014, the ‎government has to inform the House of Representatives of the presidential decree to implement a state of emergency ‎ and that the ‎decision must be approved by two thirds of MPs.‎

On May 5, Sisi extended the current state of emergency in parts of North Sinai for an additional three months, Youm7 reported.

“The state of emergency will be implemented in North Sinai’s cities of Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah and the surrounding areas of Rafah’s hill and Al Ouga town east of North Sinai and from western Arish to the Al-Halal Mountain to the east,” a presidential statement read.

The state of emergency was first imposed under Sisi in October 2014 following an attack that killed over 30 soldiers. It has since been extended four times.

According to Article 2 of the decree, a nighttime curfew is to be extended in the same areas. A curfew will be imposed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., while in certain parts of Arish the curfew will last from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

According to Article 3, the army and the police are responsible for “fighting terrorism” in the peninsula, and those who violate the decision or resist it might face imprisonment.

Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by the military in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.

During the past three years, the Sinai-based militant group, previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis before pledging allegiance to IS, has claimed responsibility for many attacks targeting the military in the peninsula.

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