World View: Israel Reopens Its Embassy in Cairo, Egypt After Four Years


This morning’s key headlines from

  • Israel reopens its embassy in Cairo, Egypt after four years
  • Four more Arab countries join war in Yemen with ground troops

Israel reopens its embassy in Cairo Egypt after four years

Friday, Sept 9, 2011: Egyptian protesters attack the Israeli embassy in Cairo and burn the Israeli flag (AP)
Friday, Sept 9, 2011: Egyptian protesters attack the Israeli embassy in Cairo and burn the Israeli flag (AP)

Israel and Egypt announced on Wednesday that Israel will reopen its embassy in Cairo, Egypt, four years after the last embassy was closed on September 9, 2011.

The closure was triggered by an event that occurred in August of that year. Palestinian terrorists launched an attack on Israel from Egyptian soil in North Sinai. In the gunfight that followed, five Egyptian policemen were shot by Israeli forces.

This was the year of the “Arab Awakening.” The government of Hosni Mubarak had been overthrown, and many people in Egypt were calling for the abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty that Israel and Egypt had signed. At the same time, there was a big escalation in violence between Israel versus Hamas in Gaza. Rockets from Gaza were striking Israel and Israeli warplanes were striking targets in Gaza, both on an almost daily basis.

On September 9, hundreds of Egyptians stormed the Israeli embassy, ransacking the building and burning the Israeli flag. Egypt’s government declared a state of emergency, and promised to prosecute those responsible for the violence. Israel responded by closing the embassy and withdrawing the embassy staff from Egypt.

During the last four years, many things have happened that have actually drawn Egypt and Israel closer together. Terrorism in North Sinai has continued and grown, threatening both countries, and giving the two countries a joint role in fighting it. The July 2013 army coup that overthrew Egypt’s elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and expelled his Muslim Brotherhood government, was followed by a long purge of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with thousands tortured, jailed or killed. Since Hamas was an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt and Israel were allied in opposing Hamas in Gaza. During last summer’s 60-day war between Gaza and Israel, many people believed that Egypt was on Israel’s side.

A new embassy building will be built, but the location has not been officially disclosed for security reasons. In the meantime, the Israeli ambassador will execute his duties from his residence in Egypt.

In June, Egypt appointed a new ambassador to Israel to fill a post left vacant since Morsi ousted the previous envoy in 2012. Al Ahram (Cairo) and Al Bawaba (21-Aug-2011) and Reuters

Four more Arab countries join war in Yemen with ground troops

Moroccan troops are deploying to Yemen (Morocco News)
Moroccan troops are deploying to Yemen (Morocco News)

As we reported two days ago, Qatar is sending 1,000 troops to join the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-back Houthis in Yemen, joining troops already on the ground from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Qatar’s announcement was considered to be a major escalation in the Yemen war.

It is now emerging that Morocco, Sudan, Jordan and Kuwait will also be sending ground troops into Yemen. By the end of the week, nine coalition members are expected to have forces fighting on the ground alongside Saudi troops. In addition to Qatar’s 1000 troops, Egypt will be sending 800 troops armed with tanks and military transport vehicles.

According to a senior Egyptian military source: “We have sent these forces as part of Egypt’s prominent role in this alliance. … The alliance fights for the sake of our brotherly Arab states, and the death of any Egyptian soldier would be an honor and considered martyrdom for the sake of innocent people.”

It seems that barely a day goes by without some news about the growing war that is engulfing the entire Mideast. International Business Times and Arab News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Egypt, North Sinai, Hamas, Gaza, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Yemen, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Kuwait
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