Daily Israel Report

Barak's Regret Calms Egypt Furor

Egypt apparently mollified as Barak expresses regret for deaths of its soldiers; ambassador to stay in Israel.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/20/2011, 10:09 PM

Egyptian forces (archive)
Egyptian forces (archive)
Flash 90

Egypt has decided to keep its ambassador in Israel, reversing a decision Saturday morning to call him back to Cairo over the deaths of Egyptian soldiers in an IDF counter-terror operation on Thursday night.

The decision was reversed after Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed regret for the soldiers' deaths, and said the IDF would work with Egypt to investigate the incident.

The incident caused outrage in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood called Friday for Egypt to attack Israel in revenge for the soldiers' deaths.

“Why shouldn't we exercise our rights in the same fashion, and carry out a military operation against Israel and kill Israeli officers like they killed our officers on the border?” said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohammed Razlan, speaking to Al-Youm Al-Saba.

Egypt filed a formal complaint Friday over the soldiers' deaths. The soldiers were killed by Israeli fire as the IDF chased terrorists along the Israel-Egypt border.

A second group of soldiers was killed by one of the Gaza terrorists involved in planning Thursday's attacks.

Senior Israeli officials are believed to have been in touch with Egypt's military leaders throughout the day regarding the incident. The United States embassies in Tel Aviv and Cairo were reportedly involved in soothing tensions as well.