Arab TV Says Mubarak Has Left

Al-Arabiya TV claims Mubarak arrived in Red Sea resort where he has a home.The army tells demonstrators to go home.

Maayana Miskin , | updated: 10:15 AM

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Israel news photo: Flash 90

As Arutz Sheva closes for Sabbath in Israel:

The Egyptian army released a statement on state television on Friday telling protestors to go home and promising to end the 30 year old state of emergency soon, as well as hold free elections, while Al Arabiya TV reports that the Egyptian president and his family have left Cairo for the Red Sea area.  Reuters was unable to corroborate the report that Mubarak had arrived at the resort.

Friday's military meeting was chaired by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, a sign that the military is acting independently of the president.

On Thursday, before Mubarak told Egypt he plans to stay in power, the military appeared to be preparing for a coup. Tantawi, head of the military's Supreme Council, announced on national television that the council was in permanent session, which usually occurs only during war.

The council was discussing “what measures and arrangements could be made to safeguard the nation,” Tantawi said. His statement was termed “Communique No. 1.” Both the title and the statement suggested that the Supreme Council had taken control, and saw itself as responsible for running the country.

Mubarak and his deputy, Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, were not present at Thursday's council meeting.

On Thursday evening Mubarak said he would not be leaving despite earlier reports to the contrary. “I will continue to shoulder my responsibilities... until power is handed over in the lawful elections in September,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square responded by chanting, “He must go!” and waving shoes in the air, a gesture considered offensive in Middle Eastern culture. Protesters continued their chants at the square on Friday after morning prayers and several hundred protested outside Mubarak's palace.  The army did not stop the protestors.