Protesters gather outside Israeli Embassy in Cairo 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded on Saturday to the previous night's attack
on Israel's embassy in Cairo, saying that the situation could have been
much more severe if the protesters had succeeded in breaking through
the last door and reaching the Israeli security guards hiding within.
RELATED: Israel evacuates ambassador in Cairo following attack
"I am glad that we succeeded in avoiding danger," he said.
Netanyahu thanked US President Barack Obama and the Egyptian forces for their help in extracting the security guards
from the embassy during what he termed a "blatant violation of international norms."
"Egypt cannot ignore this hard hit to peace with Israel," the prime minister warned.
leader Tzipi Livni said in a statement that "the break-in into the Israeli
embassy in Cairo was a very serious event in Egyptian-Israeli
"Peace between Israel and Egypt is of strategic interest to both states and we need to preserve it," she added.
Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Shaul Mofaz also responded to the attack, saying that Israeli and Egyptian leadership must work to preserve and strengthen the peace agreement between the two countries.
The storming of the embassy is the new "painful and evil" definition of Israeli-Egyptian relations for the future, Mofaz added.
Israel's ambassador to Egypt and senior staff were evacuated on Saturday
following the mass demonstration in which hundreds of Egyptians stormed
the building housing Israel's mission and threw embassy documents and
its national flag from windows.
Netanyahu spoke by phone with guards at the
Israeli embassy as they were besieged by the mob, reassuring them they
would be rescued, aides said.
After telephoned appeals by Netanyahu to Cairo's interim military rulers
and the Obama administration, Egyptian security forces extracted the
guards before dawn. Another Netanyahu aide said the Israelis' heads were
covered to throw off the crowds.