Egyptians Remember Nakba, Gather in Tahrir

Thousands of people have gathered in Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, rallying for different causes.

Activists had called for a mass show of unity on Friday, a week after 15 people were killed in sectarian violence in the country.

But many of those gathered in the square were there to show their support for Palestinian unity, ahead of "Nakba day", marking the creation of the state of Israel and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Demonstrators also celebrated the reconciliation deal signed recently between Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions.

Meanwhile, a few hundred Copts staged a sit-in outside the state television headquarters, calling for justice over the weekend’s sectarian violence.

Footage from Tahrir Square showed people waving Palestinian flags and banners with slogans for Egyptian national unity.

Wife to Be Detained

Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities on Friday ordered the detention of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Hosni Mubarak, the deposed president, the government-run MENA news agency reported.

The move came a day after the government said Mubarak and his wife were questioned over suspicions they illegally amassed vast wealth. Her husband is being held in "preventative detention" in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

MENA said prosecutors ordered Suzanne Mubarak, who is 70, detained for 15 days pending further investigation of the allegations.

MENA said Suzanne Mubarak was asked about $3.3mn held in her name in one of the Cairo banks as well as a luxurious home in Cairo.

Essam al-Gohari, who heads the illicit gains authority, "ordered the detention of former president Hosni Mubarak for 15 days following questioning in Sharm el-Sheikh that lasted three hours, over accusations of the illegal acquisition of wealth”, MENA said on Friday.

As Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reported from Tahrir Square on Friday afternoon, this was the very first time the former First Lady has been questioned.

"This could mean that any moment now, Suzanne Mubarak could be transferred to a detention facility here in Cairo," she said, adding that this would probably be the Kanater Women’s Prison.

"For the past few months this prison facility has already been undergoing security preparations in preparation for a possible imminent arrival, as part of the post-revolution purge."

Call for Gaza March

Activists have called for a march to neighbouring Gaza at the weekend, to protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

The interior ministry has urged them to cancel the march and Khaled Meshaal, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, said that for the time being, Egyptians are not "required" to march to the Gaza Strip in support of the Palestinian cause.

Sectarian clashes erupted in Cairo on Saturday after Muslims surrounded a church demanding the handover of a woman they said Christians had detained after she converted to Islam.

Another church was set on fire and in addition to those killed, scores were wounded.

The unrest prompted the military to arrest more than 200 people it said would be swiftly tried.

The young Egyptian woman who was the source of the dispute was arrested on Thursday and charged with marrying more than one husband, a judicial source said.

Abeer Talaat Fakhry, 26, was living with her Christian husband in the southern city of Assiut when she ran away from home, converted to Islam and informally married Muslim Yassin Thabet.

The violence was been blamed on Salafists, members of a hardline, puritanical Islamic movement.

Tensions have been building for the past year, as Salafists protested the alleged abduction by the Coptic Church of a priest’s wife, Camilla Shehata. The Salafists claim she converted to Islam to escape an unhappy marriage, a phenomenon they maintain is common.

Copts account for up to 10 per cent of the country’s 80 million people.

(Al Jazeera and Agencies)

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