New Israeli ambassador to Egypt lands in Cairo

Yaakov Amitai replaces Yitzhak Levanon; "I hope peace will continue to prevail between two countries."

December 12, 2011 18:31
1 minute read.
Egypt flag

Egypt flag 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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Israel's new ambassador to Egypt landed Monday in Cairo to begin his term there, according to Army Radio.

Yaakov Amitai replaced Yitzhak Levanon, who was ambassador when the embassy was stormed during protests over the killing in August of Egyptian guards by IDF troops pursuing terrorists who had killed eight Israelis on the border.

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Staff from the Israeli embassy, located in a high-rise building in central Cairo, were evacuated after the protests in September.

"I hope, God willing, that the Egyptian revolution will succeed, and peace will continue to prevail between the two countries," Amitai told local media at the airport in Cairo.

Amitai's landing at the Cairo International Airport is the first time an active Israeli envoy has entered Egypt since over 80 Foreign Ministry officials were airlifted out of Cairo when the angry mob stormed the building where the Israeli embassy was located.

Levanon visited last month, but said that his trip was to bid farewell to Egyptian officials upon the end of his term.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday that Amitai, a fluent Arabic speaker who has previously served at the embassy in Cairo, was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital on Monday but did not rule out last-minute changes to those plans.

A source in Jerusalem had said last month that Amitai would present his credentials in December but had also said the embassy would not be staffed or resume normal activity until acceptable security arrangements were in place.

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