Israel to Reopen Egyptian Embassy after Attack

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JERUSALEM -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he wants to reopen Israel's embassy in Cairo as soon as possible.

The embassy closed over the weekend after Egyptians stormed the building and tore down the Israeli flag.

On Friday, thousands of Egyptians surrounded the embassy building, broke down the security wall, and nearly overran the security personnel. Israel evacuated its ambassador and staff except for the deputy ambassador.

The mob ransacked the embassy following a border incident two weeks ago. Terrorists from Gaza used Egypt's Sinai Desert as a base to attack Israelis, killing eight.

Three Egyptians soldiers were killed when Israeli soldiers pursued the terrorists into northern Sinai.

The embassy attack represents another serious deterioration in relations with Egypt after the fall of the Mubarak government earlier this year.

"I think today that the way Egypt will change and develop in the near future is the main strategic issue for Israel," Ely Karmon, a senior researcher at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, told CBN News.

The incident is the third major diplomatic crisis facing Israel. Earlier this month, Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and in just a few days, the United Nations may put its stamp of approval on a Palestinian state.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expelled the Israeli ambassador after the U.N. released a report about last year's Turkish-led flotilla.

The report faulted Turkey and, in large part, exonerated Israel in stopping the ships from trying to break the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip last year.

Erdogan also threatened to increase Turkey's presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Talk of war also surfaced between the two former allies.

In an unprecedented step, Erdogan will visit Egypt on Monday. It will be the first visit of a Turkish leader to Egypt in 15 years.

On the Palestinian front, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will go through with plans to ask the U.N. for member status next week.

While the U.S. says it will veto Abbas's request in the Security Council, it appears the Palestinians might go directly to the General Assembly for approval.

The move might give the Palestinians much more leverage over Israel in international forums.

With the Palestinian situation and with two former allies - Turkey and Egypt - now openly hostile to Israel, the Jewish state is more isolated than it has been in years.

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