Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has declared martial law until after the December 15 referendum on his new constitution. Nine people were hurt on Tuesday when masked gunmen attacked Egyptians camped out in Cairo to protest Morsi's dictatorial measures.
On Saturday, Morsi rescinded an earlier decree granting him sweeping powers and immunity to court oversight. But he refused to reverse the drafting of a new constitution by his own Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.
Opponents say the new constitution will impose strict Sharia Law on Egypt, and will complete the religious hijacking of their pro-democracy revolution.
Most opposition groups have refused to vote in the referendum in order to deny legitimacy to the process. But that also means the Islamist constitution is all but certain to pass. Until that happens, Morsi has granted the army the right to arrest and detain anyone seen as a threat to "public security."
Critics both inside and outside Egypt noted that recently-deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak instituted a similar "temporary" measure after his initial election, and then kept that "state of emergency" in place for the next 30 years.
To counter the widespread opposition to Morsi's increasingly oppressive rule, the Muslim Brotherhood called on its millions of supporters to also take the streets. It would appear that the call has been answered, and at press time street clashes were taking place in Cairo.
At least nine people were wounded when masked assailants attacked sleeping protesters with guns and firebombs early Tuesday morning.
Fear that Egypt is on the verge of civil war appeared justified.
In Israel, there is increasing concern that the worst case scenario is coming true, and that Egypt will turn into a Sunni version of the Islamic Republic of Iran.