Egyptians protest at Israeli embassy in Cairo following attacks on Gaza

Salma Shukrallah, Saturday 9 Apr 2011

After attacks on Gaza, Egyptians demonstrate on the doorstep of the Israeli embassy, previously off-limits under the Mubarak regime

Palestinians extinguish the fire after an explosion in a smuggling tunnel along the borders between Rafah and Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip (Photo: Reuters)


Following attacks on Gaza by Israel, and in memory of the Bahr El-Baqar School massacre, a demonstration marched from Tahrir Square to the Israeli embassy in Giza yesterday, on "Cleansing Friday". 
The demonstration was joined by hundreds along the way, culminating in front of the Israeli embassy with protesters waving Palestinian and Egyptian flags, chanting slogans in solidarity with Palestine.

It is the first time Egyptians have been able to demonstrate so close to the embassy. Before the 25 January Revolution it was effectively was off-limits.

Demonstrators demanded that the Israeli flag be removed from on top of the building and raised a Palestinian flag atop an adjacent mosque.

One huge banner read, “15 May: The Third Palestinian Intifada,” in support of the call by Palestinians for an uprising to start on the anniversary of the Nakba (day of catastrophe) that marked the creation of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

Demonstrators also called for a halt to the export of gas to Israel and for the suspension of diplomatic and economic relations with the Israeli state. One slogan chanted was: “Egypt, Palestine, one revolution!”

The Egyptian military surrounded the building where the embassy is located. Mild clashes erupted when the military feared that the protestors might attempt to break into the building housing the embassy.

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