Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Thanks Obama, Egypt Commandos

"I asked for his help. He used the considerable means and influence of the US to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/11/2011, 10:37 PM

Netanyahu, 11.9.11
Netanyahu, 11.9.11
Flash 90

"Early this morning, at about 5:00 a.m., a complex rescue operation was safely completed to free the staff of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Sunday. He went on to thank U.S. President Barack Obama and the Egyptian commandos who extricated six Israeli security men from a mob that broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo:

"From inside the Situation Room at the Foreign Ministry, I worked alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, the Head of the Shin Bet, the Head of the Mossad, the IDF Chief of Staff and all of their staffs.  One overriding mission lay before us – to secure the welfare and safety of Israel’s emissaries.  We worked together in a responsible manner to ensure that this situation would end in the best possible manner.

"Immediately at the beginning of the incident, I ordered that all the Embassy staff and their families in Cairo be put on a plane and returned to Israel. At the same time we worked together with Egypt and the American government to assure that our remaining staff at the Embassy would be rescued without harm.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help.  This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, “I will do everything I can.”  And so he did.  He used used all of the considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude.  This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.  This alliance between Israel and the United States is especially important in these times of political storms and upheavals in the Middle East. 

"I wish to cite also the intervention of the Egyptian Commandos which prevented a tragedy.  We maintained direct channels of communication throughout the night with the Egyptian government. It was clear to all that the defense of an Embassy, and particularly the Israeli Embassy, is the obligation of any sovereign state.  

"I therefore also appreciate the words of the Egyptian Information Minister who condemned the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.  Many world leaders and Arab leaders joined him in this sentiment. I attach great importance to this.

"I would like to thank again the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, the security forces and above all our brave young men who were trapped for many long hours in the embassy. We worked together as a cohesive team in order to prevent a tragedy for the State of Israel and to return our men home peacefully."