‘Israel will do everything to bring you home’

Netanyahu relays the story of one security official at the Cairo embassy.

By
September 11, 2011 08:29
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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With a frenzied mob swarming into Israel’s embassy in Cairo overnight Friday, Yonatan Zilpah, the head of the security detail, took cover with five colleagues in a fortified inner room, with one metal door separating them from the furious throng.

Yonatan was on the phone with the Foreign Ministry’s situation room in Jerusalem, where the prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, Mossad head and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director were following the developments in real time.

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night described the conversation Zilpah had with the situation room.

“He and his friends, six in all, were locked inside the embassy.

The attackers entered the building, the office, and one door separated them from Yonatan and his friends. He sounded cool, reasoned, but he also understood well the situation he and his friends were facing,” Netanyahu said.

“In his conversation with the situation room, he said that ‘if something happens to me, I ask that you tell my parents about it faceto- face, and not in a telephone call.’ “I said, Yonatan, stay strong, I promise you that Israel will do everything, and will activate all the possible forces in the world to ensure that you and your friends will return home to Israel.

“Thank God, he and his friends returned to Israel. I spoke with him and his mother a few hours ago and they sounded excellent.”



Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the six security guards received directives to do what they needed to do to protect themselves. Everyone watching the situation play itself out understood that all that separated the Israeli guards from the mob was 20 minutes and one door, he said.

“Their cool [manner] and discretion were truly heroic,” Lieberman said.

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