Israeli envoy returns to Cairo for meetings

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to Egypt returned to Cairo for the first time since being evacuated from the country amid violent protest.

Yitzhak Levanon arrived in Egypt Saturday to hold meetings with Egyptian diplomats and other foreign envoys; Levanon is due to leave his position in two weeks.

Israeli security delegations have visited Egypt in recent weeks to find a new location for the embassy and to discuss returning an ambassador to the country.

More than 1,000 Egyptians demonstrated at the embassy Sept. 9, many after an Egyptian Facebook group called on protesters to gather at the embassy and "urinate on the wall." During the demonstration, protesters tore down the Israeli flag from the high-rise building’s roof for the second time in a month.

The protesters broke down the 8-foot-high security wall surrounding the embassy compound and entered the building, requiring the evacuation of Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, embassy personnel, their families and Israelis staying at the embassy.

Six security employees stranded in the building were later removed by an Egyptian commando unit during a rescue operation.

Three people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the riots.

The riots came after six Egyptian security personnel were killed in August as Israel pursued the bombers of a civilian bus near Eilat.

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