By BosNewsLife Middle East Service

Israel was forced to close down embassy following attack in Cairo.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)– Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Saturday, September 10, that a massive attack on the Israeli embassy in Egypt’s capital Cairo could undermine peace between the two neighboring states.

Overnight protesters broke into the building housing Israel’s embassy in Cairo, entering consular offices and forcing the evacuation of Israel’s ambassador, security guards and other staff members, officials said.

At least three people died and one thousand others were injured in the clashes, officials said. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries among staff. Netanyahu said however that the “blatant violation of international norms” could harm relations between Israel and Egypt.

“Egypt cannot ignore this hard hit to peace with Israel,” he added in published remarks.  The prime minister said he was “glad that we succeeded in avoiding danger,”but cautioned that the situation could have been “much more severe” if protesters had succeeded in breaking through the last door and reaching the Israeli security guards hiding within.


He had been in constant telephone contact with the guards, reassuring them they would be rescued, news reports said.



Egyptian protesters entered the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday, after tearing down the wall surrounding the building that houses it, witnesses said.

The assault prompted the Israeli ambassador to rush to the airport early Saturday, September 10, to leave the country.

Yitzhak Levanon, his family and other embassy staff were waiting at Cairo’s airport for a military plane to evacuate them, the Voice of America (VOA) network reported.

Egyptian officials told reporters that the protesters threw hundreds of documents out of the building on to the crowd outside.

Witnesses said Egyptian security forces initially made no attempt to intervene when protesters converged on the embassy,tearing down sections of the graffiti-covered security wall.


Additional police forces eventually used tear gas and gunshots were heard nearby to push the crowd away, allowing the evacuation of Israeli staff.

Since the fall of former leader Hosni Mubarak in February, calls have grown in Egypt for ending the historic 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Demonstrators attacking the embassy said they are angry that last month Israeli forces, responding to a cross-border militant attack, mistakenly killed five Egyptian police officers near the border.

Earlier in the day, thousands voiced their displeasure about what they view as the slow pace of governmental reform since Mubarak’s ouster earlier this year.  They want a time table of the interim military government about plans to introduce civil rule in the country.

Minority Christians have also expressed concerns that there voice will be underrepresented in a new government, amid rising concerns over Islamic extremism, BosNewsLife monitored.


Tahrir Square was the center of Egypt’s “January 25 Revolution” that led to Mubarak’s departure. It has largely been quiet since July, when security forces dispersed a sit-in by protesters.

Mubarak was in court again Thursday, facing charges that he ordered the killing of 850 protesters during the uprising, VOA reported. He is being tried along with former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six other deputies.

In Washington, President Barack Obama expressed “great concern” about the situation in Cairo and called on Egyptian authorities to protect the Israeli mission. (BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals. With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos).


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