Egypt rulers face heat after Israel mission attack
The chaotic scenes surrounding the attack on Israel’s embassy in
Egypt have provoked a storm of criticism over the ruling military’s
handling of events related to security amid the political transition.
Political groups and commentators have denounced the failure to
enforce law, suggesting the authorities had allowed the situation to
deteriorate into violent clashes late Friday which saw three killed and
more than a thousand injured.
“The embassy incidents raise questions,” said a statement by the
Revolutionary Youth Coalition, a militant network which was part of the
revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.
Specifically, the group focused on “the disappearance of the armed
forces and police when demonstrators began climbing the building and
their arrival three hours later.”
Late on Friday, Egyptian crowds smashed through an external security
wall at the Israeli embassy, while a few protesters managed to get into
an office from where they tossed embassy papers from balconies. Others
tore down the Israeli flag.
The incident, which also saw six security staff rescued by Egyptian
commandos, was the worst since Israel established its mission after
Cairo became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the
Jewish state, in 1979.
It was the latest episode in worsening relations between the two
countries since the killing of six Egyptian policemen on their common
border as Israel hunted militants after a deadly attack last month.
Liberal columnist Wael Qandil wrote in the independent newspaper Al-Shoruk
that the disorder resulted from a “scenario developed to demonise the
revolution and the revolutionaries as thugs.”
At the other end of Egypt’s political spectrum, the Muslim
Brotherhood also warned the military, in power since the fall of Mubarak,
against invoking security legislation to slow the pace of transition
towards civilian rule.
The Party for Freedom and Justice, from the powerful Islamist
fraternity, said it “rejects any attempt to use and exploit these
incidents to implement martial law, restrict freedoms or delay the
deadlines for the transition period.”
The Brotherhood also warned against a possible postponement of
planned legislative elections set for the autumn under the pretext of
Cairo, Monday, AFP