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Israel reopens Cairo embassy after ‘Nakba Day’ protest

By
May 18, 2011 02:58

Gov't knew in advance about plans for the protest, decided to keep the embassy closed on the day of the demonstration.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Cairo [illustrative]

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit:Nasser Nuri / Reuters)

Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, a day after some two dozen protesters were injured in the most unruly protest at the embassy since the signing of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accord.

Roughly 1,000 Egyptians, chanting anti-Israel slogans and burning an Israeli flag, gathered outside the embassy on Monday – at one point trying to remove security barriers outside the building.



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The police responded by firing tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowd, injuring some two dozen people.

Israel, which knew in advance about plans for the protest, decided to keep the embassy closed on the day of the demonstration, but opened it Tuesday.

An Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem, who requested anonymity, said the protest included the “usual suspects,” including Nasserites and radical Islamists.

The spokesman added that what was more worrisome than the protest were the anti- Israel chants, and calls being heard at Tahirir Square on a regular basis.

Those gathered in the square, he said, were more representative of Egyptian society – and as such, their chants and the anti-Israel sentiment there were more problematic.

The spokesman said there was no intention as a result of the protest at the embassy to bring back to Israel any of the embassy staff, or their families.

The spokesman said that lines of communications between decision-makers in Jerusalem and Cairo remain open.

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