Riot Police, Protesters Clash in Egypt's Tahrir Square

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Violent clashes between Egyptian forces and anti-government protesters continued Tuesday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Thirteen people have been killed and dozens wounded in the latest round of protests, which began last Friday, Reuters reported, quoting local medical sources. 

According to the report, the army responded harshly to attempts to tear down a brick wall erected to protect the parliament building.

"Hundreds of state security forces and the army entered the square and began firing heavily," one demonstrator, who identified himself as Ismail, told Reuters by phone.

"They chased protesters and burned anything in their way, including medical supplies and blankets," he said. "Some of those who fell had gunshot wounds to their legs."

But retired Gen. Abdel Moneim Kato, who serves as an advisor to the Egyptian military, said soldiers had exercised "self-restraint" against the demonstrators.

Video footage showing soldiers dragging a female demonstrator by her shirt evoked harsh criticism from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people," Clinton said during remarks at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Salafi's hardline Islamist al-Nour party, which garnered 25 percent of the vote -- second to 40 percent by the Muslim Brotherhoods -- in recent parliamentary elections, said Egypt should respect signed treaties and reexamine the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Chairman Emad el-Din Abdel Ghafour told Arab media outlets that "many [clauses] must be implemented so the Palestinians will feel they have benefited from the peace process."

According to a report in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israel's ambassador to Egypt Yaakov Amitai will try to open dialogue with members of both Islamist parties -- the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour -- despite the refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist.

"We should make every effort to explain that we are not the enemies of the Egyptian people or the enemies of the Palestinians,"  Ha'aretz quoted one Israeli official.

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