|Egyptian spring: mob attacks Israel Embassy|
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U.S. Helps after Protesters Attack Embassy in Cairo -Michael Birnbaum & Ingy Hassieb
Israel airlifted its ambassador home and sought U.S. intervention with Egypt to help secure its embassy in Cairo on Saturday, hours after thousands of Egyptian protesters besieged the building. They knocked down a 12-foot concrete wall that had been built last week to protect the embassy, which is near the top floor of a 21-story residential building.
Israeli officials described tense hours Friday night during which Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke by phone with President Obama to seek help in protecting the embassy and extricating six Israeli security guards trapped inside when a mob broke through an outer door into the public reception and consular affairs area. Netanyahu was also in contact with the Egyptian chief of intelligence, Gen. Murad Muwafi, a member of the ruling military council. "The rioters were literally a door away" from the security guards, said one Israeli official. "There was very real concern for their safety and their lives."
After tear gas was used to disperse the protesters, the Israeli guards were eventually extricated by Egyptian commandos and escorted to the airport, where they flew back to Israel on an Israeli air force plane. An Israeli official said "we know" that American intervention with the Egyptian authorities helped "stabilize the situation and get our people out." Diplomats in Cairo voiced concern, wondering whether their own embassies were secure.
The Israeli Embassy Attack -Daniel Nisman
Even Cuba, which hosts a minor diplomatic mission of its most hated enemy, the U.S., takes painstaking efforts to ensure the safety of American citizens deployed there.
The Cubans' efforts are not based on friendship with the U.S., but rather, on strict adherence to international custom. However, the Egypt-Israel relationship is apparently resistant even to this basic gesture of respect.
One could only imagine the response of Egyptians to a mob of angry Israelis raiding the Egyptian embassy and burning the Egyptian flag.