Egypt Yanks Ambassador to Israel

Situation deteriorating rapidly after
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2011 8:12 AM CDT
Egypt Yanks Ambassador to Israel
Egyptians shout anti-Israeli slogans as they wave national flags during a protest in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, early Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011.   (Mohammed Abou Zaid)

Egypt today recalled its ambassador from Israel to protest the deaths of at least three Egyptian troops killed in a shootout between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants who had launched a deadly attack on Israel from Egyptian soil. The decision sharply escalated tensions between the neighboring countries, whose landmark 1979 peace treaty is being tested by the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's interim government accused Israel of violating that treaty with its raid that killed the Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula, and demanded an apology and an investigation.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Israeli government was holding consultations on the Egyptian move. Several political parties have blasted the Israeli raid, with the Muslim Brotherhood, saying, "this crime should be dealt with in an appropriate way," adding that "what was possible before the revolution, will not be tolerated to continue after the revolution." Israeli officials insisted the peace treaty was "stable" despite the rocky developments. "No one had any intention to harm Egyptian security personnel," says a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official who works closely with Egypt. "The question is what happened in the field and that is what is being investigated." (Read more Egypt stories.)

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