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Threatened Diplomat in Egypt Will Switch to New Assignment

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Israel’s ambassador to Cairo will be moved to another post, but the Israeli Foreign Ministry has denied that the change stems from fear of assassination attempts by Egyptian extremist groups.

Ambassador David Sultan was recently accused in Egyptian opposition newspapers of killing Egyptian prisoners of war during his army service.

The accusations, which Sultan and the Israeli government sharply denied, surfaced in the wake of allegations made in Israel last month that hundreds of Egyptian POWs were killed by Israeli troops in the 1956 Sinai Campaign and 1967 Six-Day War.

“I have been singled out as a target. My life is in danger,” Sultan was quoted as telling the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot.

Sultan, who has served as ambassador to Cairo for the past three years, said he had asked to be moved to a different assignment six months ago.

But he said that when no replacement was found to take his place in Cairo – which he described as a “difficult posting” – he consented to stay on in the Egyptian capital.

Foreign Ministry officials said discussions had been under way for at least a year about changing Sultan’s post.

Yediot Achronot mentioned one possible replacement – Haifa University Professor Yosef Ginat, an anthropologist who headed the Israeli academic center in Cairo for four years and who is said to have good ties with the Egyptian government and in intellectual circles.

Ginat denied that he had been contacted by the Foreign Ministry regarding the position.

But he told Israel’s domestic news agency Itim that if approached, he would carefully consider the offer.

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