'Those that tore down Israeli flag in Cairo oppose peace'

PM tells cabinet that protesters will go to any lengths, aren't interested in specific issues after violence forces evacuation of Egypt embassy.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
September 11, 2011 11:23
2 minute read.
Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting

Netanyahu cabinet meeting 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the people who took part in the Egyptian siege on Israel’s embassy in Cairo over the weekend rejected peace and the state.

"Those that tore down the flag will go to any lengths, aren't interested in specific issues and oppose peace and the state," Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.

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"I am happy that there are also different opinions within Egypt of people that want to preserve the peace," Netanyahu said.

He also said that the government was holding discussions with Egypt about returning the Israeli ambassador and his diplomatic team back to Cairo.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu said that Israel would continue to adhere to the peace treaty with Egypt, which serves the interest of both countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Sunday that Israel needs to work quickly to allow Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon to return to the city as soon as his safety is can be guaranteed.

During an interview with Israel Radio, Meridor said that the attack on the embassy in Cairo hit a blow to the peace treaty with Egypt, and that both countries have an interest in making sure that the diplomatic ties return to their previous state.



All of Israel’s emissaries to Cairo – including six security guards who were holed up behind a metal door in the embassy and extracted by Egyptian commandos – returned to Israel on Saturday, with the exception of one diplomat who will remain to represent Israel in the Egyptian capital.

In a televised announcement on Saturday night, Netanyahu offered a special thank you to US President Barack Obama who “said he would do everything he could” to extricate the six security guards, “and did.”

“He used all the means and influence of the US, which are significant, and I think we owe him a special thank you. This testifies to the strong alliance between Israel and the US. This alliance is critical, especially during these days of great storms buffeting the Middle East,” the prime minister said.

He also gave credit to the Egyptian commandos, who entered the building and rescued the six security guards – who were disguised wearing keffiyehs – from the building.

“Their intervention,” Netanyahu said of the Egyptian commandos, “prevented a tragedy. We were in contact with the Egyptian government throughout the night, and I think it was clear to all that protection of embassies in general – and the Israeli Embassy in particular – is an integral part of a sovereign government’s job.”

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