News / Middle East

    Egypt Announces Emergency Measures Following Embassy Attack

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

    Egypt has announced emergency measures to restore order following a mob attack on the Israeli Embassy in the Cairo suburb of Giza Friday night. Protesters had spent much of the day tearing down a protective wall, before finally breaking through Egyptian Army lines.

    Information Minister Osama Hassan Heikal said Saturday that legal measures were being taken to transfer suspects detained for Friday's violence to an emergency state security court.  Earlier, the state-run MENA news agency said military police had arrested 19 people for their alleged roles in the attack.

    Tensions had been mounting throughout the day Friday after a rowdy crowd of mostly young people began hammering away at a wall in front of the building, tearing most of it down. Security forces tried to push back the crowd by firing teargas, but were slowly overwhelmed allowing protesters to enter the mostly residential building that houses the Israeli Embassy on the 17th and 18th floors.

    The Egyptian government says at least three people were killed in the melee and more than 1,000 were wounded. Several people were arrested. Security forces are on high alert.

    One middle-aged Egyptian man complained to al-Hurra television that the security forces in front of the embassy should not have intervened to protect it, because it is the people's will to tear down the wall in front of the building.

    He says it was a supreme display of the will of the Egyptian people, who demanded that the wall protecting the embassy come down, and they brought it down.  He says Egypt's ruling military council must respect the demands of the people, because they are governing in the name of the people.

    Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem says an overwhelming majority of Egyptians were horrified by the violence at the Israeli Embassy.

    "About 95 percent of the Egyptians are disgusted at the attack on the embassy and any other violence that took place," he said. "Even commentators who appeared on channels like Jazeera ... who normally have a very anti-Israeli position, were saying, 'This is wrong. We can't attack an embassy.'"

    Kassem worries, however, that Egypt's ruling military council may use the attack on the embassy as a pretext to use force in the coming months to deal with other protests and other incidents of violence.

    "Once the United States says that you can't use force against demonstrators, the answer could be, 'Excuse me, do you mean we can use force to defend the Israeli Embassy, but not the rest of the country?'" he said.

    U.S. President Barack Obama had urged Egypt on Friday to intervene to protect the Israeli Embassy. Egyptian sources say the army commandos stormed the embassy building to rescue Israeli diplomats, who were flown to Israel.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora