Egyptians Break Into Israeli Embassy

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 7:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian protesters have entered the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, after tearing down the wall surrounding the building that houses it.

Egyptian officials say the protesters threw hundreds of documents out of the building on to the crowd outside.

Protesters converged on the embassy Friday, tearing down sections of the graffiti-covered security wall. Egyptian security forces at the scene made no attempt to intervene.

In Washington, President Barack Obama expressed “great concern” about the situation in Cairo and called on Egyptian authorities to protect the Israeli mission.

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

Anger escalated last month after 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 the slow pace of governmental reform since Mr. Mubarak's ouster.

Protesters are trying to put pressure on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to provide a concrete timeline for the return to civilian rule in Egypt. They also want to end the practice of military trials for civilians.

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

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