Saturday, September 10, 2011

Egyptian protesters pull down Israel embassy wall, Israeli ambassador and about 85 diplomats and their family members were evacuated at dawn.



Egyptians destroyed a wall around the Israeli embassy and set police cars on fire in Cairo on Friday after thousands demonstrated at Tahrir Square.

They first methodically demolished a week-old protective wall as Egyptian security forces stood by. A few scaled the building and tore down the Israeli flag, while about two dozen broke into the offices and began tossing binders of documents into the street. And when a battalion of riot police finally began filling the streets with tear gas, the protesters fought back with rocks and Molotov cocktails for most of the night.
Egyptian officials said Saturday that at least two protesters had died from the clashes around the embassy — one from a bullet wound and the other from a heart attack — while as many as 1,200 had been injured and at least 19 arrested. Signaling its new crackdown, the military council said Saturday that all those arrested would be sent to military trials instead of civilian courts.
But at least one protester who had broken into the embassy early Saturday morning said that Egyptian military police had forced him out but then let him go free, raising questions about the consistency of the military’s new crackdown.
Israeli officials, for their part, said Saturday that six members of their staff had been trapped inside the embassy until an early morning rescue by Egyptian commandos. “This went on for 13 hours and there was real concern for the safety and lives of our people,” an Israeli official said. “The mob penetrated the embassy and at the end there was only one wall separating it from six of our people.”
The Israeli ambassador and about 85 diplomats and their family members were evacuated at dawn. Only one diplomat, a deputy ambassador, remained, and he took refuge in the protection of the American Embassy, diplomats familiar with the arrangements said.
Diplomats said allowing the invasion of a foreign embassy was an extraordinary breach of Egypt’s international commitments that immediately raised new security concerns at other embassies around the city. “It has led to a complete loss of credibility in the government internationally from all directions,” a Western diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the situation.

Egyptian Mob Storms Israeli Embassy Burning Walls

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