Saturday, September 10, 2011

Egyptians break into Israeli embassy in Cairo: UPDATE 2 Hours Ago

Egypt: Violent clashes as protesters storm Israeli embassy

Protesters throw stones and petrol bombs as security forces respond with teargas during a night of violence in Cairo after demonstrators stormed the Israeli embassy

From the Telegraph UK
09/10/2011
10:29AM BST

     Protesters lit tyres in the street and at least two vehicles were set alight near the embassy, located on the upper floors of a residential apartment block overlooking the Nile.

     The protesters had earlier broken into the embassy building, entering consular offices and tearing down the Israeli flag, reportedly replacing it with the flags of Egypt and Palestine
    
Al Jazeera reports at least 3 dead and over 1000 wounded
As dawn broke, about 500 demonstrators remained and a few threw stones at police and army vehicles and personnel. But police gradually pushed them further away and secured the area.

It was the second big eruption of violence at the embassy since five Egyptian border guards were killed last month during an Israeli operation against gunmen.

As a result of the violence Israel flew its ambassador and nearly all its diplomats - around 80 people in total - back home overnight



 State of alert declared as Egyptian prime minister summons cabinet crisis team to assess Israeli embassy attack

Al Jazeera 
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2011 23:15


Security forces gas the hell out of Egyptian protesters as they stormed the Israeli embassy on Friday night [EPA]
Israel's embassy in Cairo has been stormed by protesters who tore down one of the outer embassy walls and threw thousands of documents from the embassy's windows.

    The angry Egyptians also replaced the neighboring country's flag with their own after breaking in on Friday night.

Up in smoke:  Israeli Flag
In response, the Egyptian prime minister summoned the cabinet crisis team to discuss the situation, and the interior ministry declared a state of alert late on Friday night.

The group that swarmed the embassy had left a mass rally at nearby Tahrir Square, where organised protesters called for reforms by the military, which now governs Egypt.

    "Thousands of documents were being thrown out of the windows, but it's unclear which floor they were coming from," our correspondent Sherine Tadros said.

    "Indications are that it's pretty much a chaotic situation. Protesters set on fire two police vehicles."

    Sources at the Egyptian interior ministry told Al Jazeera that up to 300 people had been injured as the result of clashes around the embassy, and one died of a heart attack.

    Nora Shalaby, a protester outside Israel's embassy, justified the protesters' actions.

    "I think this is the only way we can get our point across, "Here we still have lots of tear gas. There's rubber bullets. They're basically attacking us from all sides," she said, reffering to government security forces.

Eyewitnesses said police and soldiers watch as activists hammered away at the roughly 2.5 metre high wall  (Reuters)
     President Barack Obama was first to react, calling on Egypt to protect the embassy and "to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy,

    "Frustration started rising because people don't know when this military rule will end... there's no election date here," our correspondent added.

    "The President expressed his great concern about the situation at the embassy, and the security of the Israelis serving there," a White House statement said on Friday.

    The statement said that Obama spoke by telephone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the two agreed “to stay in close touch until the situation is resolved."

Embassy wall damaged

    By evening, demonstrators had partially destroyed a wall recently built outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo to protect the building.

    The earlier incident at the Israeli embassy involved around 1,000 people, who gathered outside the building housing the mission and attacked the wall with hammers and a large metal bar, as military police nearby did nothing to stop them.

Celebrating Egyptians on the Israeli Embassy Wall - Photo:  AP
They chanted: "Lift your head, you are Egyptian."

The wall, about two metres high, consists of prefabricated cement slabs that were recently installed around the building that houses the embassy overlooking a bridge in Cairo.

Last month, Egyptians staged huge protests outside the embassy and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador over the border deaths of Egyptian policemen killed as Israel hunted a group of attackers.
Egypt has asked Israel for an official apology and demanded a probe into the deaths of the five policemen.


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