Egypt says Israeli regret not satisfactory

A delegation led by an unidentified high-ranking Israeli envoy arrived in Cairo on a private plane from Tel Aviv on Sunday to a low-key reception, airport sources said.

Egypt says Israeli regret not satisfactory

Egypt cautiously approved a joint investigation with Israel on the killing of five Egyptian security personnel during an Israeli border fire, but said on Sunday the response was insufficient given the gravity of the situation.

One demonstrator scaled several floors of the high-rise embassy building to tear down the Israeli flag and replace it with an Egyptian one, a Reuters witness reported.

He was feted as a hero by one would-be Egyptian leader.

"Hamdi Sabahi, the Egyptian presidential candidate, sends a salute of pride to Ahmad al-Shahat, the public hero who burned the Zionist flag that spoiled the Egyptian air for 30 years," Sabahi said in statement.

Egypt said on Saturday it would recall its ambassador from Israel and Egypt's Foreign Ministry later called in the Israeli charge d'affaires, delivered a protest and demanded a joint investigation into the deaths.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel "regretted" the deaths.

Barak also said he had instructed the Israeli army to conduct a joint investigation with Egypt.

"The Egyptian government considers the approval to conduct a joint investigation to uncover the circumstances of the incident a fundamental step to prevent the occurrence of such accidents as Egyptian blood is not cheap and the government will not accept that Egyptian blood gets shed for nothing," Egypt's state news agency MENA said.

The Israeli decision to work with Egypt to investigate the killings is "positive in appearance but does not fit with the weight of the incident and the state of Egyptians' outrage from the Israeli actions", MENA added, quoting a cabinet statement released after a second round of a ministerial crisis meeting headed by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf late on Saturday.

"And as Egypt confirms it is keen on the peace with Israel, Tel Aviv also will have to share its responsibilities in protecting that peace," MENA said.

The statement said the government had asked for a deadline for the joint investigation to conclude its work, adding that crisis meetings would continue until the results are released.

"Israeli delegation in Cairo"

The cabinet, with army generals in attendance, has been holding crisis meetings daily since Friday after thousands of Egyptians protested in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo overnight, burning Israeli flags, tearing down metal barriers and demanding the expulsion of the Israeli envoy.

Hundreds of Egyptians continue to protest outside the embassy.

A delegation led by an unidentified high-ranking Israeli envoy arrived in Cairo on a private plane from Tel Aviv on Sunday to a low-key reception, airport sources said. Four cars drove onto the tarmac to whisk the delegation away.

Officials from Egypt's defence ministry and the ruling army council were due to meet on Sunday morning, according to a cabinet official who asked not to be named.

Mubarak's removal in a popular revolt has emboldened many Egyptians to voice their demands on the streets.

The army is trying to keep a lid on social tensions as Egypt prepares for elections later in the year as part of a promised transition to democratic, civilian rule.

The gunmen attacked Israeli vehicles in southern Israel on Thursday in attacks near Egypt's porous desert border and eight people were killed.

Israel accused a Palestinian faction that entered from the besieged Gaza Strip via Egypt's Sinai desert, killing the faction's leadership in an air strike in besieged Gaza on Thursday and launched more than a dozen more raids on Friday. Medical officials say at least 15 Palestinians have been killed, including five civilians.

Palestinian fighters fired at least 50 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday. An Israeli man was killed and at least seven other people were wounded by rockets.

The Cairo-based Arab League was due to meet later in the day to discuss the latest violence, after a Palestinian request.

Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2011, 15:05
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