February 12, 2017

Israel withdraws Egypt envoy amid security concerns

Security coordination has improved but (...)

JERUSALEM - Israel has temporarily withdrawn its ambassador to Egypt amid ongoing security concerns, the country's intelligence service confirmed Tuesday.
"Due to security considerations the return of the foreign ministry embassy staff to Cairo has been restricted," the Shin Bet security agency said.
The statement did not say when the withdrawal took place but Britain's Daily Telegraph said ambassador David Govrin was pulled out at the end of last year.
It reported that Govrin was due to return when security conditions improved.
Egypt, one of only two Arab states to have a signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state, has been rocked by ongoing violence in recent months.
In December 26 people were killed when a bomb exploded in a prominent church in central Cairo.
Govrin presented his credentials to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in August 2016.
The Israeli embassy in Cairo only fully reopened in September 2015, four years after violent demonstrations.
In September 2011 protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo, with Israeli diplomats evacuated.
Crowds smashed through an external security wall, tossed embassy papers from balconies and tore down the Israeli flag.
After several hours, Egyptian commandos rescued six Israeli security guards stuck inside the embassy building.
Ties between Israel and Egypt soured further after the election of Islamist Mohamed Morsi in 2012 but have improved since his overthrow by the military a year later.
Israeli officials say security coordination has improved since former military chief Sisi was elected Egypt's president in 2014.

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