Israel's ex-ambassador to Cairo arrived Saturday in the Egyptian capital, an airport official said, hours after the government decided to withdraw its ambassador from Israel over the deaths of five policemen on the border.
It was not immediately clear why Shalom Cohen flew into Cairo airport, the official there said.
His arrival comes just hours after Egypt decided to recall its ambassador from Israel to protest the deaths of five policemen killed on the border during retaliatory attacks on Palestinian militants, media reports said.
"Egypt has decided to withdraw its ambassador to Israel until there is an official apology," state television said.
The Egyptian government had asked "for an official apology from Israel" at the end of a crisis meeting overnight, the state-run MENA news agency reported in a statement.
Security forces told AFP that five policemen, including an officer, were killed at the border on Thursday during an Israeli pursuit of militants who killed eight Israelis.
Israel has blamed the radical Palestinian group, Popular Resistance Committees, for that attack.
Friday night hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.
"Sinai, Sinai," the crowds shouted in reference to the Sinai peninsula where the Egyptian policemen were killed and, "Down with Israel. The people want the ambassador out and the Israeli flag down."