Saturday, August 20, 2011

Israel-Egypt Ties Rattled Further

Israel-Egypt ties rattled further

Israeli ambassador to Egypt summoned by authorities over troops' death near border Thursday, as Cairo's interim cabinet decides to withdraw ambassador from Israel

Roee Nahmias Published: 08.20.11, 07:44 / Israel News

Egypt has decided to withdraw its ambassador, Yasser Reda, from Israel in protest of the deaths of five Egyptian security forces in a border incident which took place Thursday, Cairo's state TV reported on Saturday.

The Egyptian troops were killed as Israeli soldiers pursued suspected militants from the Gaza Strip, who crossed the border from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel and carried out multiple terror attacks, killing eight Israelis and leaving dozens injured.

Egypt calls emergency gov't meeting after death toll from Thursday's terror attacks reaches six

There nature of the incident is still under investigation, but the Egyptian interim cabinet has already ruled that "Israel is politically and legally responsible for this incident," further stating that is was in breach of the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.

Egypt has also summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo to protest shootings. A cabinet statement carried by Egypt's state TV said: "The Cabinet assigns the Egyptian foreign minister to summon the Israeli ambassador in Cairo.

"The cabinet demands a joint official probe to ascertain the circumstances of the incident… and take the necessary legal action to protect the rights of Egyptian victims and injured."

In strong language, the statement added that Israel was to blame because the "lax security" from its side had allowed the ambush to take place.

"The Egyptian ambassador to Israel will be withdrawn until we are notified about the results of an investigation by the Israeli authorities, and receive an apology from its leadership over the sad and hasty remarks about Egypt," the Cabinet statement said.

An earlier Egyptian statement accused Israel of trying to "shirk responsibility for the recklessness of Israeli security forces in protecting the borders."

AP and Reuters contributed to this report

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