Saturday, September 10, 2011

Violence escalates in Egypt after attack on Israeli Embassy - 10th Sept 2011

Clashes in Cairo largely pacified Saturday, a day after an attack on the Israeli Embassy heightened tensions in Egypt and Israel.

Earlier Saturday, streets in Cairo looked like a war zone as violence intensified between security forces and protesters. Gunfire pierced the air as rocks, burning tires and fires from Molotov cocktails littered the streets.

The Ministry of Health reported 520 injuries after the clashes.

"A very difficult event is over," said a senior Israeli government official who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The official said while Israelis are thankful to the Egyptians for their efforts to resolve the situation, "it cannot be brushed under the carpet. This was a serious violation of the conventions of diplomatic behavior."

The official added that American involvement in speaking with Egyptians about the situation was crucial.

Egyptian Cabinet members will meet in an emergency session Saturday to discuss the attack on the embassy, a government spokesman said.

The Israeli ambassador to Egypt left for Tel Aviv early Saturday, along with members of his family and staff as well as security guards, said Egyptian Army Lt. Col. Amr Imam.

All diplomatic personnel from the Israeli Embassy have either left or were in the process of leaving, the Israeli official said. Read More