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Egyptian Protesters Demand to End Ties with Israel

Protesters demonstrated outside residence of Israel's ambassador to Egypt, calling on government to cut all diplomatic ties with Israel.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/7/2012, 12:50 PM

Egyptian protest
Egyptian protest
Reuters

Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the residence of Israel's ambassador to Egypt in Cairo on Monday night, demanding that the government cease all diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in light of Sunday's attack along the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

While the perpetrators remain unknown, Egypt has blamed Israel for the attack, which killed 17 Egyptian soldiers and injured seven.

“It’s definitely Israel who is behind it; we demand the termination of any political relations with Israel,” said Ahmed El-Toni, one of the protesters, who referred to himself as an “independent activist,” Ahram Online reported.  

He also criticized Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi for not yet taking action against the assumed culprits.

Last August, thousands of Egyptians protested outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo demanding the dismissal of the Israeli ambassador after five Egyptian soldiers were killed near the border in Sinai.

In September, dozens of protesters raided one of the embassy’s offices in Cairo, throwing documents into the air, while a man climbed to the top of building to remove the Israeli flag, as supporters cheered him on from the ground.

The man was later celebrated as a national hero and referred to as “Flag Man.”

The protests forced the Israeli embassy in Cairo to close its doors.

"We're giving a chance to president Morsi till after Ramadan; if retribution for those who died wasn’t reached we will go back to the streets,” said Mohamed Bakhati, one of the protestors.

The Egyptian armed forces issued a statement on Monday attributing the attacks to assailants who reached Egypt through the Gaza tunnels. Hamas quickly denied any involvement in the attack.

Bakhati denied all claims that the perpetrators may be ‘Palestinians’ infiltrating the country from Gaza. ”Palestinians have an interest in keeping good relations with Egypt; no one is benefiting from this attack but Israel,” Bakhati claimed.