21 Aug 2011

Egypt to withdraw Israel ambassador

4:12 pm on 21 August 2011

Thousands of Egyptians have rallied outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo for a second day over the deaths of five Egyptian policemen.

One demonstrator climbed the building, took down the Israeli flag and replaced it with an Egyptian flag.

Israel earlier expressed "regrets" over the incident on Thursday.

It happened on the Israeli-Egyptian border as Israeli troops pursued suspected militants who had fired rockets into Israel, killing eight.

The BBC reports that in response, Israel has carried out a series of air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 15 people.

Meanwhile, Palestinian militants have fired more than 20 rockets into Israel since Thursday.

In the latest violence, a rocket killed one person and injured at least four in the Israeli city of Beersheba on Saturday.

Egypt recalls ambassador from Israel

Egypt said on Saturday it would withdraw its ambassador from Israel after the deaths.

"The cabinet demands a joint official probe to ascertain the circumstances of the incident ... and take the necessary legal action to protect the rights of Egyptian victims and injured," Egyptian state TV reported.

Egypt's cabinet also summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo in protest, demanding an apology from Israeli leadership over statements made accusing Egyptian military rulers of losing their grip on the Sinai peninsula.

Egyptians have been enraged by the killings, with hundreds of protesters staging an emotionally charged demonstration at the Israeli embassy in Cairo late on Friday, burning an Israeli flag and calling for the expulsion of the ambassador.