Paper rain as Egyptian protesters break into Israeli embassy offices

Sherif Tarek , Saturday 10 Sep 2011

An unknown group breaks into an apartment of the Israeli Embassy and throw bundles of documents from the window

The protest before the Israeli embassy, one of the main features of Egypt's Friday of Correcting the Path, took a serious turn when an unidentified group of protesters broke into one of the apartements housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, said to contain embassy archives, and threw scores of documents from the window. Protesters gathered in the streets trying to collect the flying papers, some of which are reported to contain sensitive information.

Central Security Forces bombarded the protest with tear gas in fierce clashes that erupted shortly afterwards, ahead of army troops being deployed at the embassy building to contain the situation.

It was initially understood that the embassy’s headquarters had been broken into before an unnamed Israeli official denied the claim, saying protesters had only reached the entrance hall but had not got inside the embassy mission itself.

Several cars in the area were set ablaze while fire mysteriously started in front of the Giza Zoo and the Orman Park. Some eyewitnesses claim that armed thugs wreaked havoc to further increase tensions.

Earlier in the day, about 5000 protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy building, set on dismantling the concrete wall which was set up by security forces around the premises following other recent protests.

Military police and state security forces attempted to protect the wall as protesters, using everything from hammers to crowbars to their bare hands, were trying to tear it down. Dividing themselves into groups, the protesters worked on dismantling different sections of the wall and eventually succeeded to bring it all down.

Later on, demonstrators managed to scale the 15-storey apartment building which houses the Israeli Embassy for a second time in a month and removed the Israeli flag.

Authorities had built the wall last week in an attempt to secure the embassy after a series of protests were held in front of the building, highlighted by the actions of one protester, now dubbed “flagman”, who scaled 15 floors from the outside of the apartment building to bring down the Israeli flag and replace it with the Egyptian flag.

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