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Israel Reopens Cairo Embassy, Shut After Protest in 2011

  • Reuters

FILE - Egyptians cover their faces to avoid tear gas vapor as they walk at the site of clashes between protesters and anti-riot police near the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 10, 2011.

FILE - Egyptians cover their faces to avoid tear gas vapor as they walk at the site of clashes between protesters and anti-riot police near the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 10, 2011.

Israel reopened its embassy in Egypt on Wednesday, four years after it was stormed by dozens of protesters in violence that led to the evacuation of the Israeli ambassador.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its director-general, Dore Gold, had traveled to Cairo to "rededicate" the embassy.

Israel's ambassador at the time, Yitzhak Levanon, and other staff were airlifted from Egypt after demonstrators stormed the embassy in September 2011. They were protesting the shooting of five Egyptian security guards by Israeli soldiers pursuing militants who had ambushed and killed eight Israelis along the border.

Israel's current ambassador to Cairo, Haim Koren, attended Wednesday's ceremony, along with an Egyptian diplomat and the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, the Israeli statement said.

Israeli diplomats have been working mainly from the ambassadorial residence in a Cairo suburb.

Ties between Israel and Egypt have tightened since the Egyptian army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The two countries, which signed a peace treaty in 1979, cooperate on security matters in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, where Islamist militants have attacked Egyptian troops and launched rockets into Israel.

Israel is also involved in talks about the sale of natural gas from its offshore Leviathan field to Egypt, but a deal has not yet been signed.

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