Middle East

Israel says hasn't recalled envoy to Egypt

Palestinians extinguish a fire after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City November 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Ali Hassan)

JERUSALEM: Israel's ambassador to Egypt has not been recalled, an Israeli diplomat said in Jerusalem on Wednesday after a Cairo airport source reported the envoy had left with his staff.

Ambassador Yaakov Amitai had come to Israel before the Jewish state launched an assault on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the diplomat told Reuters. However, embassy operations in Cairo were functioning as normal, he added.

Egypt had earlier recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest at the killing of Ahmed al-Jaabari, military commander for Gaza's Islamist Hamas government, and Israeli strikes on other targets in the Palestinian enclave.

"It's not symmetrical. The fact they withdraw their ambassador does not mean that we have withdrawn ours," the Israeli diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Israel's embassy in a Cairo highrise was stormed by pro-Palestinian rioters last year and a skeletal staff of Israeli diplomats have since been operating out of Amitai's residence in the Egyptian capital.

 

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