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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Egypt belatedly protects Israeli diplomats - but how did three rioters die?

Two weeks after the Egyptian government and media made heroes out of the rioters that stormed the Israel embassy in Cairo, the Egyptian police stood by and let thousands more destroy a wall meant to protect that embassy. They only seemed to react when things got really out of hand.

From JPost:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with guards at the Israeli embassy in Cairo as they were besieged by an Egyptian mob on Saturday, reassuring them they would be rescued, aides said.

They said that after demonstrators penetrated the tower block housing the mission, some of the six-member staff on overnight security detail told Netanyahu they feared for their lives and asked him to pass farewells to their families.

"All that separated them from the mob, at that point, was one wall. We were very concerned, and so were they," said an aide.

After telephoned appeals by Netanyahu to Cairo's interim military rulers and the Obama administration, Egyptian security forces extracted the guards before dawn. Another Netanyahu aide said the Israelis' heads were covered to throw off the crowds.
It should never have gotten to that point. The simple fact is that the Egyptian police and military allowed the sovereign territory of the Israel embassy to be at the mercy of Egyptian mobs.

 The Daily News Egypt adds:
Three were killed and 1,049 were injured in clashes outside the Israeli embassy late Friday and early Saturday, the health ministry said.

On Friday, the police made no attempt to intervene as protesters were tearing down the wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands.

At night, about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building throwing documents from the windows.

Protesters also brought down the Israeli flag, the second incident in less than a month.

Witnesses said demonstrators tried to storm the nearby Giza Security Directorate police in the area and set fire to another building. Four police vehicles were set on fire.

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters and gun shots were heard. Witnesses said a police vehicle drove through protesters as it fired tear gas. Clashes with police and army continued until Saturday morning.
Does this mean that the Egyptian police, when they finally reacted to a demonstration, used deadly force and killed three unarmed protesters?

I have not even seen a list of the dead, let alone calls for an investigation into how they were killed. Somehow, it is assumed that Egyptian security acted proportionately and correctly in killing three protesters.

Do the people who are incensed over the Mavi Marmara know about this?