Monday, August 22, 2011

Arab League blasts Israel for Egyptian deaths: "Expression of regret for deaths is not enough" (Hear the drums beating?)

Representatives of Arab League states have condemned "the Israeli attack on the Egyptian forces" saying that Israel bears "full responsibility for this crime".
Permanent members of the league issued the statement blasting Israel on Sunday after holding an urgent meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo to discuss what it called "dangerous Israeli aggression" on the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reported from Egypt: "Although it is a low-level meeting, it comes as part of the apparent intensified diplomatic pressure on Israel."

Earlier on Sunday, Egypt's cabinet said a statement of "regret" from the Israeli defence minister for the deaths of the five policemen was not enough. But it stopped short of saying if it would recall its ambassador to Israel.

"The Israeli statement was positive on the surface, but it was not in keeping with the magnitude of the incident and the state of Egyptian anger toward Israeli actions," the official MENA news agency quoted a cabinet statement as saying on Sunday.

MENA said the cabinet insisted on a timetable for an Israeli offer of a joint investigation into the deaths on Thursday as Israeli troops pursued fighters who carried out attacks earlier in the Negev that killed eight.

"Egypt affirms its solicitude for maintaining peace with Israel, but Israel must also assume responsibility for protecting this peace," it said.

The reaction came as thousands of Egyptians protested late on Saturday outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo, housed in the top floor of a high-rise building. more