August 20th, 2011
The protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Giza continue as of time of writing, with thousands calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and severing all ties with the Zionist apartheid regime. Protesters are also waving Palestinian flags, calling for war on Israel.
The Guardian (UK)–“Egypt withdraws ambassador to Israel over police deaths”
Protest at the deaths of five officers reportedly shot by Israeli forces chasing Palestinian militants after Eilat attack
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 20 August 2011
Cairo said it held Israel “politically and legally responsible” for the incident on Thursday, and demanded an investigation and an apology.
Israel has pledged to investigate the deaths, which Egyptian officials say happened during a shoot-out between Israeli forces and suspected Palestinian militants.
The violence began on Thursday when gunmen attacked buses near the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, killing eight people.
Egyptian officials say Israeli forces chased the suspected militants across the border, and a number of people were killed – including the police officers.
The decision to withdraw Yasser Reda was announced as thousands of protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo for a second day, demanding the expulsion of the Israeli envoy.
In a statement, the Egyptian cabinet said: “The Egyptian ambassador to Israel will be withdrawn until we are notified about the results of an investigation by the Israeli authorities.”
It added that Egypt would send reinforcements to protect its borders and “to respond to any Israeli military activity at the Egyptian borders”.
It is the first time in a decade that Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador.
Egypt’s interim government accused Israel of violating their 1979 peace treaty, which is already being tested by the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
Mohammed Adel, a leader of the protests that toppled Mubarak, welcomed the cabinet decision, saying: “It proves to all that the Egyptian revolution is capable of imposing its rules on the Israeli enemy.”
Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief and now an Egyptian presidential hopeful, said: “Israel and any other [country] must understand that the day our sons get killed without a strong and an appropriate response, is gone and will not come back.”
Israeli officials insisted the peace treaty was “stable” despite the developments.
“No one had any intention to harm Egyptian security personnel,” Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence ministry official who works closely with Egypt, told Israel Radio. “The question is what happened in the field and that is what is being investigated.”
The cross-border attack has raised concerns about the increasingly lawless Sinai peninsula, which borders both Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Israel says Gaza militants armed with guns, explosives, mortars and an anti-tank missile, killed eight Israelis in a roadside ambush on Thursday after infiltrating Israel through Sinai.
Israeli air strikes on Gaza on Friday killed at least 12 Palestinians. More than a dozen rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, wounding nine Israelis in the south of the country.
Israel has offered conflicting accounts about how the Egyptians were killed and the Israeli military has promised an investigation.
An Israeli military officer initially said a suicide bomber, not Israeli soldiers, killed the Egyptian security forces.
Meanwhile Israeli media reported that some of the sniper fire directed at the Israeli motorists on Thursday came from near Egyptian army posts and speculated that the Egyptian troops were killed in the crossfire.