Egypt Islamists: 'We'll Protest until Morsi Returns'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Tensions were running high in Egypt on Friday. A coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood called for protests on what they called a Friday of rejection following the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi earlier this week.

The army is holding Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood officials under house arrest at an undisclosed location.

On Thursday, millions of Egyptians celebrated the army's takeover in the streets of Cairo. They see the army as the protector of the revolution that started two years ago.

"I am here now because I am so happy for Egypt. My feeling is that I have my country back. We never liked anything done by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the first time in 50 years that my heart is warmed," Aum Ahmed said on Thursday evening.

The jubilation comes just one year after the Brotherhood's Morsi was elected president, bringing Islamists to power for the first time. Many felt he betrayed the people and destroyed the economy.

"We are standing here victorious," Egyptian resident Mohammad Salah said. "We want to complete our victory by bringing the people who are going to come to rule the country because, as you know, the ruler of the country was unjust. They even lacked religion and they wanted to divide us as religious and secular and they managed to do it."

"All that I ask of our great people who are supporting the ousted president is to close the gap that is between the Egyptian people," another resident, Hassan Hamdy, said. "We should all unite and forget about the past."

But Islamists are not backing down and it looks like trouble could be on the way.

"We will be protesting until the return of President Morsi to rule and to be the president again or we die here as martyrs," Morsi-supporter Safwat Hijazi said.

"This sit-in must not stay just that. We are supposed to bring more crowds, and we should move to more sensitive places like the Ministry of Defense and to the Supreme Constitutional court," said Mahmoud Eid, another supporter of the ousted president. "And if we knew where Morsi is being held, we would go there and release him."

The White House stopped short of calling the overthrow a military coup. A coup would usually trigger economic sanctions and a cut in U.S. aid.

In neighboring Israel, officials are not commenting on developments but are concerned that Islamists could take advantage of any chaos in the country to launch attacks from the Sinai Desert or Gaza Strip into Israel.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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