Israeli ambassador returns to Cairo; officials still looking for embassy site
Former ambassador was evacuated with help of an Israeli military plane in September, after protesters tore down a security wall around the embassy and stormed its offices and trashed them.
Israel's new ambassador to Egypt, Yaakov Amitai, is scheduled to report for duty today in Cairo. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is hoping that Amitai will present his credentials in the near future to the head of Egypt's Supreme Military Council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, but no date has been set for the ceremony.
Despite Amitai's arrival in Cairo, Israeli officials have yet to find an alternative location for the Israeli Embassy, after rioters ransacked the building some three months ago.
Former Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, along with most of the embassy's staff and their families were evacuated with the help of an Israeli military plane in September, after protesters tore down a security wall around the embassy and then stormed its offices and trashed them.
The violent protest followed the killing of six Egyptian soldiers by Israeli troops who were pursuing Palestinian militants near the Egyptian border.
Following the September incident in Cairo, Israeli Foreign Ministry officials and the Shin Bet security service decided that the building housing the embassy was unfit from a security point of view. Since then, efforts have been made to find an alternative location.
For now, Amitai is expected to work from his residence with the assistance of two Israeli diplomats.