That was their problem with the wall. It was getting in the way.
These attacks are a rehearsal and a testing of the waters for an attempt at a full-blown re-enactment of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. That is the eventuality the Israelis there face if Egyptian authorities continue let the protesters do as they please. Alternatively, the embassy may close, at which point it is equally likely to be overrun and taken as a trophy.
Egyptian protesters on Friday night broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo and succeeded in removing the flag from atop the high-rise after they destroyed a protective wall surrounding the building.
No Israelis were injured as Egyptian activists demolished the wall around the Israeli embassy in Cairo during angry protests. Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported late Friday night on their Arabic-language website that four Egyptians had been detained after entering the building where the Israeli mission is located.
Israeli embassy workers were not located in the building while the protests were taking place.
After Friday prayers, thousands had converged on Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, for what was billed as “Correcting the Path” protests.
Some of the demonstrators later marched to the other side of the Nile in Giza, where they used hammers and large metal rods to destroy the wall, erected this month by Egyptian authorities after daily protests over the killing of five Egyptian border guards in Sinai.
“This action shows the state of anger and frustration the young Egyptian revolutionaries feel against Israel especially after the recent attacks on the Egyptian borders that led to the killing of Egyptian soldiers,” Egyptian political analyst Nabil Abdel Fattah told Reuters.
Egyptian police stood aside as activists tore down the concrete wall to the cheers of hundreds of demonstrators.
“It is great that Egyptians say they will do something and actually do it,” Egyptian film director and activist Khaled Youssef said, standing among the protesters outside the embassy.
“They said they will demolish the wall and they did … the military council has to abide by the demands of the Egyptian people,” he said.
Citing Foreign Ministry sources, Israel Radio said the ambassador was safely at his official residence and that Israel was in contact with Egypt, the United States and European powers about the incident.
“Police will not do anything to the protesters and they will be left unharmed to continue demolishing the wall,” one security source said.
Protesters also demonstrated outside the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square, where some hurled stones at the building.
Photo by Khalil Hamra for the Associated Press, which also reported: “Just before midnight, a group of protesters reached a room on one of the embassy’s lower floors at the top of the building and began dumping Hebrew-language documents from the windows, said an Egyptian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.”