News / Middle East

    Egypt Angered by Israel's 'Regret' for Border Guard Deaths

    Egyptian protesters shout anti-Israeli slogans in front of military vehicle near the Israeli embassy in Cairo, August 20, 2011, as they protest the deaths of Egyptian security forces killed in a shootout between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants
    Egyptian protesters shout anti-Israeli slogans in front of military vehicle near the Israeli embassy in Cairo, August 20, 2011, as they protest the deaths of Egyptian security forces killed in a shootout between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Edward Yeranian

    Egypt says it will withdraw its ambassador from Israel following Israeli military action that killed three members of Egypt's security forces along the two nations' border.  Israel says its military action was aimed at Gaza militants who had staged attacks inside Israel, and that it regrets the deaths.  But that has done little to calm public anger in Egypt.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised a full investigation of what happened Thursday at the Egyptian-Israeli border, and said Israel regrets the deaths of the three Egyptians.  His comments were seen as less than an apology for Israel's actions while pursuing militants from Gaza who had staged attacks in southern Israel, and public reaction was swift here in Cairo.  

    Angry street protests outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo have been going on for several days, and the Egyptian press has mounted a war of words against the Jewish state.

    An Egyptian army checkpoint protects the Israeli embassy in Cairo's Giza district, but hundreds of protesters tried to break those barriers early Saturday.  The crowd chanted slogans calling for expulsion of Israel's ambassador in Egypt, and demanded suspension of a controversial agreement with Israel for the sale of natural gas.

    One middle-aged activist said the killings of the Egyptian soldiers requires retaliation by Egypt. 

    He said the people will not accept that killing of any Egyptians at the border, either by accident or intentionally.  An era of "turning the other cheek" is over, this demonstrator insists.  He says the Egyptian people will react if their government and Supreme Military Council do not.

    A government spokesman, Information Minister Osama Haikal, said Egypt can defend its lengthy cross-Sinai border with Israel, but that both states must share the responsibility of keeping the peace there.

    Egypt can protect its border and ensure that it controls Sinai, the information minister says, while stressing that Israel and Egypt both are responsible for security there.

    Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology at the American University in Cairo, says both Egypt and Israel are exploiting the current climate for domestic political purposes, and to divert attention away from internal crises.

    "Foreign policy is always an excuse for trouble in domestic policy," said Sadek.  "Both Egypt and Israel are having domestic problems.  And so, the skirmishes that took place near the Egyptian-Israeli border [are] serving both sides politically in the domestic field."

    Sadek says Egypt's ruling Supreme Military Council and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu probably both have gained domestic support over the past few days, but he asks:

    "Would that escalate into a war?  Look, I don't think so," added Sadek.  "Both sides are playing on the verge of a conflict to serve the domestic agenda, but I don't think they will go as far as that."

    Israel's airstrikes in Gaza have been answered by salvos of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, which continued Saturday.

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

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora