Israeli embassy in Cairo 'never closed' insists Egypt

Israeli embassy in Cairo 'never closed' insists Egypt
Reports that the Israeli embassy in Cairo was set to reopen were denied by Egypt, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying on Wednesday that the diplomatic mission never closed.
2 min read
09 September, 2015
Protesters stormed the building house the Israeli embassy in September 2011 [AFP]

A source in the Egyptian foreign ministry denied reports that the Israeli embassy in Cairo has been closed for the past four years.

The official said that news of the embassy reopening is regarding the embassy inaugurating new headquarters, as it was never closed.

"The embassy has been operating normally for the past three years, however its headquarters have been moved to al-Maadi area, in west Cairo, close to the residence of the Israeli ambassador" said the source.

"The embassy had shut down its old headquarters in front of the University of Cairo after angry Egyptian protesters stormed it on 9 September 2011," the source added.

A number of Egyptian protesters had stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo on 9 September 2011 in protests that were known at the time as "The Friday to correct the path" in which the crowds broke the concrete barriers that were placed outside the embassy building.

One protester climbed the embassy building and removed the Israeli flag and replaced it with an Egyptian flag, while other protesters stormed an apartment that was being used by the embassy to house files and threw out the files onto the street.

The incident led to the death of three protesters and the injury of 1049, after Egyptian security forces intervened to stop the protesters.

Israel's Channel Two television station reported that the reopening of an Israeli embassy in Cairo is part of the positive diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A specialist on Egyptian-Israeli relations told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Cairo comes as part of close relations and coordination between the two countries, especially in relations to combatting terror in Sinai.

"The honeymoon period between the Sisi regime and Israel will return to the same pace that existed during the Mubarak era," said the analyst.

"Egyptian-Israeli relations are in the hands of the Egyptian intelligence services, which have returned to playing the same role they used to under Mubarak," added the analyst.