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Egypt Pulls Israel Envoy Over Deaths Of Security Forces


This passenger bus in Israel was damaged in an attack by militants near the Egyptian border on August 18.

Egypt's government has announced it is recalling its ambassador to Israel over the deaths of five members of the Egyptian security forces near the border with Israel.

The five were reported killed as Israeli forces pursued suspected militants along the border following a series of attacks by militants in southern Israel on August 18 that killed eight Israelis.

In a statement issued August 20, the Egyptian cabinet said it held Israel "politically and legally responsible" for the deaths of the Egyptians, and said Egypt considers the incident a breach of the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.

The statement said Egypt's ambassador would be withdrawn until Egypt receives the results of Israel's investigation of the incident, and also receives an apology.

On August 19, hundreds of Egyptians protested outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo over the incident.

There are conflicting versions of how the Egyptian security forces were killed. Israel has said it is investigating.

Meanwhile, Israel and Palestinians battled each other for a third day today with rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel and Israeli planes attacking the coastal enclave.

The Israeli military said a total of 12 rockets fell in Israel but the only casualties were three illegal Palestinian workers who were wounded while sleeping outdoors in Ashdod.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians authorities did not report casualties from the overnight Israeli air strikes.

compiled from agency reports