August 20, 2011 by staff
Egypt Israel, Egypt said on Saturday it would withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest at the killing of five policemen in a shootout between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces along the border.
“The Egyptian ambassador to Israel will withdraw until we are notified of the results of an investigation by the Israeli authorities,” the Egyptian cabinet in a statement, the Guardian reported.
The reinforcements will be deployed “to respond to any military action of Israel in the borders of Egypt,” the statement added.
The move to withdraw the ambassador, the first time that Egypt has done in over a decade, comes amid concerns that the interim government in Cairo, could take a harder line against Israel than the U.S. backed toppled the regime of Mubarak.
Egypt – the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel – has also demanded an investigation into Thursday’s incident and an apology for the deaths of police officers.
Thousands of protesters gathered at the Embassy of Israel in Cairo for a second day to demand the expulsion of Israeli envoy.
The police were killed when Israeli forces pursued the Palestinian gunmen because of an attack on the bus, near the Red Sea resort of Eilat Israel, which left eight dead.
There have been conflicting reports of Egypt and Israel over how the police were killed.
A military official told the Egyptian news agency MENA news Thursday that the fire killed in Israeli helicopter lost targeting suspected Palestinian militants, AFP reported.
However, state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper quoted an official later said that gunmen while trying to cross the border into Israel after the bus attack killed military officers.
Information Minister Osama Heykal, MENA quoted him as saying that the deaths occurred “in Egyptian territory as a result of an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and armed elements,” reported The Guardian.
Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, an update of Facebook, said the new interim government of Egypt would be harder against Israel that the ousted regime of Mubarak had been.
“Our glorious revolution took place so that the Egyptians could regain their dignity and abroad. What was tolerated in Egypt before the revolution will not be in Egypt after the revolution,” he said.
Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa said Israel “must understand that the day our children die without a strong and adequate response has been and will not return.”
Israeli officials have said there is an ongoing investigation into the incident and have dismissed fears that the peace treaty of 1979, a pillar of security in the Middle East, is in danger.
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