Tensions High Outside Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Posted September 10th, 2011 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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Protesters remained outside of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Saturday, a day after demonstrators tore down sections of a security wall and raided the building.

Egypt's security forces remain on high alert at the scene. The government says at least three people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded in overnight clashes between protesters and police.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says he will make a statement about the incident late Saturday. Earlier, he called the mob attack a blatant “violation of international norms.” However, Israel thanked the Egyptian government for its help in quelling the unrest.

Diplomatic relations have been tense between the two countries since Israeli forces mistakenly killed five Egyptian police officers last month near the border while responding to a cross-border militant attack.

Public anger over that event has escalated in Egypt. Calls also have been growing in Egypt to end its historic 1979 peace treaty with Israel since the ouster of former leader Hosni Mubarak.

The embassy assault prompted Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, his family and 80 staff members to hastily leave the country and return to Israel. Israeli officials said Egyptian commandos helped evacuate six other Israelis who were trapped in the building.

The Israeli government said it has left its deputy ambassador in Egypt to keep up diplomatic contact.