Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Bibi Praises U.S. After Cairo Embassy Staff Escape

Some 80 personnel and family members of Israel’s embassy in Cairo are safe after being removed in an emergency rescue operation.

During a riot outside the embassy Friday night, violent protesters broke down the eight-foot-high security wall surrounding the embassy compound and entered the building.

Once the riots turned violent, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, embassy personnel, their families and Israelis staying at the embassy were evacuated to Cairo’s airport and returned to Israel on a special Israel Air Force flight.

Six employees stranded in the building were later removed by an Egyptian commando unit during a special rescue operation in which the men reportedly dressed in Arab kaffiyeh headdresses.

More than 1,000 Egyptians demonstrated at the embassy, many after an Egyptian Facebook group called on protesters to gather at the embassy and “urinate on the wall,” Ynet reported

During the demonstration, protesters tore down the Israeli flag from the high-rise building’s roof for the second time in a month.

In a televised address on Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Middle East is “now undergoing a political earthquake of historic proportions.”

He said Israel would work with Egypt to return its ambassador to Cairo. “We will continue to keep the peace with Egypt. This is in the common interest of both countries. We will work toward preventing a further deterioration in our relationship with Turkey. We did not choose this sequence of events. To the extent that the matter depends upon us, we shall act to lower tensions and do everything possible to restore relations,” he said.

Netanyahu praised the United States for intervening with Egypt in order to rescue the Israelis. “I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, ‘I will do everything I can.’ And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude,” Netanyahu said.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.