Israel's New Ambassador Arrives in Cairo

Yaakov Amitai arrived in the Egyptian capital three months after the embassy was ransacked by angry rioters.

Israel's new ambassador to Egypt arrived in Cairo on Monday, Egyptian airport officials told the Associated Press, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy in the Egyptian capital.

Amitai, the new envoy, replaces Yitzhak Levanon, who was ambassador when the embassy was stormed in August after six Egyptian guards were killed by Israeli troops pursuing militants responsible for the deaths of eight Israelis on the border.

Cairo Israel Embassy – Reuters – Sept. 9, 2011

Amitai, a fluent Arabic speaker who has previously served at the embassy in Cairo, will join the small Israeli diplomatic staff still on in the Egyptian capital.

Levanon, who had been scheduled to complete his term shortly after the storming, briefly returned to Egypt in November for farewell meetings with foreign and Egyptian diplomats.

Following the September incident in Cairo, Foreign Ministry officials and the Shin Bet security services 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.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Saturday, addressing an international conference in Vienna, that Israel hopes that "despite the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the first round of the Egyptian election, reason and economic needs will win and the peace between the two countries will be kept".