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Israeli Diplomat Wounded in Cairo by Unknown Gunmen

June 6, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Zvi Kedar, an official of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, was wounded in the arm when unknown gunmen opened fire on his car and escaped in their own car at about midnight last night. Yosef Amihoud, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said today that the Egyptian authorities have launched an intensive investigation of the incident in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy.

The shooting occurred near Kedar’s home as the Israeli diplomat was returning from Cairo ariport. He had just bid goodbye to Eliahu Ben-Elissar, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee who met with President Hosni Mubarak earlier yesterday. Ben-Elissar, who was Israel’s first Ambassador to Egypt, brought Mubarak a message from Premier Yitzhak Shamir.

His trip to Cairo was linked to efforts to thaw Israeli-Egyptian relations which have been frozen since Egypt called home its Ambassador in Tel Aviv after Israel invaded Lebanon two years ago. The envoy has still not returned. Ben-Elissar, who was warmly received in Cairo, said Mubarak told him that all Egyptians are interest in implementing the peace treaty with Israel and the Camp David accords.


Nevertheless, according to Ben-Elissar, “there was no breakthrough” toward ending the “cold” peace between Cairo and Jerusalem. But “there will be follow-up meetings,” he said. He denied that the purpose of his trip to Cairo was to arrange for a visit there by Shamir before the July 23 Knesset elections in Israel. A meeting between former Premier Menachem Begin and the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat just before the 1981 Knesset election, was criticized in some circles as a domestic political ploy to improve Likud’s chances at the polls.

Ben-Elissar said he was surprised, while in Cairo, to read in the Israeli press that a ranking Israeli military officer had warned of the possibility of hostilities between Israel and Egypt. Maj. Gen. Ehud Barak, chief of military intelligence, delivered that warning at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting and again yesterday in briefing the Knesset committee which Ben-Elissar heads. He said there was an Egyptian military build-up in Sinai and that Israel must be on the alert because there was no guarantee that Egypt some day, will not again become a confrontation state.


Ben-Elissar said in a Voice of Israel Radio interview here today that he believed the press had exaggerated Barak’s intelligence briefing. He also responded to MK Geula Cohen of the ultra-nationalist Tehiya Party who criticized his visit to Cairo in light of Barak’s warning.

“I have no doubt that Egypt wants peace,” Ben-Elissar said. “This does not mean that the relations between the two countries are good. I know they are presently in a state of freeze. Part of my mission was to try to revive the dialogue between the two countries.”

He did not think that the shooting incident in Cairo indicated a worsening of relations.

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