Israeli ambassador summoned over 'mistreatment' of Egypt diplomats

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 May 2013

Foreign ministry summons Israeli ambassador to Egypt over alleged mistreatment of Egyptian diplomats in Tel Aviv, voices displeasure with recent Israeli airstrikes against Syrian targets

Foreign
Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli ambassador to Egypt Yaakov Amitai has been summoned by Egyptian authorities following allegations that staff members at Egypt's embassy in Tel Aviv were being mistreated, foreign ministry spokesman Amr Roshdy said Wednesday.

According to Roshdy, Israeli authorities attempted to stop Egyptian embassy officials from attending Coptic Easter mass on Sunday in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Amitai was also informed of Egypt's displeasure regarding recent Israeli airstrikes against targets in Syria.

On Sunday, Israeli jets bombed a military research facility north of Damascus. Israeli officials said the strikes had aimed to to destroy Iranian-made missiles intended for Lebanese resistance outfit Hezbollah.

Roshdy described the airstrikes as a "breach of Syria's national sovereignty."

Roshdy also condemned the arrest of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, who was taken from his home by Israeli authorities on Wednesday.

Israeli security officials, for their part, allege that Hussein had been involved in recent "disturbances" near Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque when Israeli settlers visited the site.

Relations between Egypt and Israel have been strained since Egypt's January 2011 uprising, which culminated in the ouster of longstanding president Hosni Mubarak. Many Egyptians demand the modification – or abrogation – of the 1978 Camp David peace treaty between the two nations.

In 2011, several protests were held by Egyptian pro-Palestinian groups outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo to pressure Egypt's then-ruling Supreme Military Council to expel the Israeli ambassador.

In September 2011, protesters stormed the embassy building. Since then, Israel has continued to look for a new building to host its diplomatic mission.

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