Israeli ambassador returns to Cairo for first time after embassy storming

MENA and Reuters, Sunday 20 Nov 2011

Israeli ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon arrives in Cairo for the first time since the embassy was stormed by protesters in September

Israeli embassy
An Egyptian flag flies over the Israeli embassy building, following a night in which protesters stormed the building, took down the Israeli flag, and broke into one embassy facility. (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Levanon returned to Cairo on Sunday, around two months after the embassy was stormed by protesters furious after Israel killed five Egyptian border guards.

According to the state-run news agency MENA, Levanon, whose tenure in Egypt will end in the next few days, flew back to Cairo from Istanbul. He is set to be replaced by Yaakov Amitai.

Levanon left Egypt after demonstrators broke into the Israeli embassy, which is located in the 20th and 21st floors of a residential block. The unprecedented move has slightly strained diplomatic ties between the countries.

The protesters’ action came after what they perceived as the Egyptian government's poor response to the killing of five border guards by Israeli soldiers, who claim to have been pursuing Palestinian militants along the Israeli-Egyptian border.

Quoting an Israeli official who asked not to be identified, Reuters said Amitai is expected to travel to the Egyptian capital in December to present his credentials, but the embassy would not be staffed, nor resume normal activity until acceptable security arrangements are in place.

Reports also suggested that the embassy will be relocated to a more secure location to avoid similar incidents in the future.

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