Israel considering relocating embassy in Cairo

Ambassador to Egypt says steps to be taken to better protect Israeli diplomats; still unknown when diplomats will return to Cairo.

October 23, 2011 10:45
1 minute read.
Yitzhak Levanon

yitzhak levanon 311. (photo credit: Channel 2)

Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Yitzhak Levanon on Sunday said Israel is considering moving its embassy in Cairo to another location in the city, Israel Radio reported.

"Israel is considering moving the embassy building in Egypt to another location over concerns for the safety of its diplomats," said Levanon, according to the report.

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Israeli diplomats were evacuated from the Embassy in Cairo in September when hundreds of Egyptian protesters attacked the complex.

The protesters were incensed by the accidental killing of five Egyptian soldiers by IDF forces pursuing terrorists across the border following a complicated terrorist attack near Eilat.

Levanon said it is still not known when Israeli diplomats are expected to return to Cairo, the report said.

Earlier this month Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a formal apology to Egypt for the accidental deaths of the Egyptian soldiers, which Egypt then accepted. 

Relations between Israel and Egypt remain strong despite being tried since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in January, which reached a peak when violent protests at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo caused the evacuation of Israeli diplomats.

Egypt held a crucial role in the recent securing, after five years of negotiations, of a prisoner swap deal to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners.

Additionally, final arrangements are expected to be worked out soon to release accused American-Israeli spy, Ilan Grapel, in exchange for a substantial amount of Egyptians sitting in Israeli prisons.

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