Egypt: We Are Committed to Maintaining Israel Peace Treaty

Egyptian official say Egypt to reinstate emergency laws canceled in wake of anti-Mubarak protests following protesters' attack on Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Haaretz
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Haaretz

Egypt is committed to maintaining its peace treaty with Israel, a top Egyptian official said on Saturday following an attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo a day before, adding that Egypt would reinstate emergency protest laws which had been cancelled at the onset of Egyptian protests against former President Hosni Mubarak.

Earlier Saturday Egypt raised its national alertness level following a severe nighttime incident late Friday, as thousands of Egyptian protesters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, resulting in the evacuation of dozens of Israeli diplomats.

Egyptian activists burn a depiction of an Israeli flag as they demolish a concrete wall built around a building housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, September 9, 2011.Credit: AP

Egyptian commandos released six besieged security guards from the Israeli Embassy, while an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats, including family members from Cairo, after a mass group of Egyptian protesters broke into the embassy.

On Saturday, Egypt's ruling military announced it was raising the country's alertness level in the wake of Friday's incident.

A governmental source said that Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was holding an emergency meeting with several cabinet members as well as members of Egypt's ruling military council to discuss the night's events.

Coming out of that meeting, Egypt's Information Minister Osama Heikal assured that Egypt was committed to all of the international treaties to which it is a signatory, adding Cairo's commitment to securing the safety of all diplomats assigned to the country.

"Everything that happened is a gross violation of the law, and one cannot call the perpetrators of the act as either brave or patriotic," Heikal said, adding that "What happened severely injured Egypt's pride as well as its international standing, and that is not something we can accept."

In addition, the Egyptian minister announced that Cairo would reinstate emergency laws that were canceled as a result of anti-Mubarak protests in February, as well of undertaking a series of steps which were described as meant to deter further rioting and disturbances of the peace.

Earlier Saturday, Egypt said its security forces had been able to disperse the crowd outside the Israeli embassy; medical sources indicated that 3 people had been killed in the rally, with over 1,000 wounded, most of whom as a result of inhaling tear gas.

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