Daily Israel Report

Violent Mob Rushes Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Dozens of protesters were arrested Sunday night in a violent anti-Israel demonstration in Cairo.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/16/2011, 11:40 PM / Last Update: 5/17/2011, 12:13 AM

Dozens of protesters were arrested Sunday night in a violent demonstration held outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

According to the state-run MENA news agency, protesters burst through barricades around the building and tried to storm the embassy in order to rip down the Israeli flag.

Three main roads leading to the building had all been blocked off by security forces using trucks and barricades – but to no avail.

Protesters chanted anti-Israeli slogans and demanded Egypt expel the Israeli ambassador and close the embassy.

Egyptian riot police fired live ammunition when tear gas failed to disperse the thousands of demonstrators, a security official told the Associated Press.

At least 185 protesters were arrested for allegedly attacking police, torching an Israeli flag and damaging other property, police said.

According to the Egyptian Health Ministry, some 353 people were injured outside the embassy. In addition, 18 security personnel were wounded by rocks hurled by protesters.

Representatives of a youth organization that had helped lead the revolution that toppled the 31-year regime of former President Hosni Mubarak criticized the police for using force in dispersing the mob. The group said in a statement on its Facebook page that the protest had been “civilized.”

An eyewitness who refused to give his name to AP due to fear of reprisals said the police used unjustified force.

The demonstrators gathered following calls by Facebook organizers to march against Israel Sunday as part of the May 15

Nakba Day protest of the “catastrophe”- the 1948 re-establishment of the State of Israel.