‘Israel will do everything to bring you home’

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

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)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

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.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN