Israel reopens embassy in Egypt

Embassy had shut down in 2012 after protesters stormed the building in protest over killings of Egyptian border guards.

Protesters flee from tear gas during clashes front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo
Israel's ambassador and other staff were airlifted from Egypt after demonstrators stormed the embassy in September 2012 [Reuters]

Israel has reopened its embassy in Egypt, four years after it was stormed by dozens of protesters in violence that led to the evacuation of the Israeli ambassador.

The Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that its director-general, Dore Gold, had travelled to Cairo to “rededicate” the embassy.

“The Israeli embassy in Egypt is back in operation today,” the ministry statement said.

“Today, exactly four years ago, the Israeli diplomats were forced to leave the Israeli embassy.”

Yitzhak Levanon, Israeli ambassador, and other staff were airlifted from Egypt after demonstrators stormed the city centre embassy in September 2012 in a protest over the shooting of five Egyptian security guards by Israeli soldiers pursuing those who had ambushed and killed eight Israelis along the border.

Haim Koren, Israel’s current ambassador to Cairo, attended Wednesday’s ceremony, along with an Egyptian diplomat and the US ambassador to Egypt, the Israeli statement said.

Israeli diplomats have been working mainly from the ambassadorial residence in a Cairo suburb.

Ties between Israel and Egypt have grown warmer since the Egyptian army overthrew ex-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but ties have remained formally cold over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

Israel is also involved in talks over the sale of natural gas from its offshore Leviathan field to Egypt but a deal has not yet been signed.

Source: News Agencies