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Cairo protesters tear down part of Israeli embassy's security wall

Protesters at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday tore down part of a security wall recently set up outside the building.

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(Antler)

Protesters at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday tore down part of a security wall recently set up outside the building.

The Associated Press reports that security forces did not intervene as "crowds climbed the embassy security wall, pummeled it with hammers and tore away large sections of the barrier."

Protesters had marched to the embassy from Tahrir Square, where they were demonstrating against the pace of reforms under the country's new military leadership.

Egyptian anger toward Israel has flared since a deadly incident on August 19, when Israeli security forces killed five Egyptian officers in the Sinai Peninsula. In recent days, thousands of people have gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Israeli flags have been burned and people have demanded the expulsion of the country’s ambassador.

After the protests started, Egypt's leaders erected a nine-foot-high security wall outside the embassy. It was quickly covered in graffiti, with phrases like “Down with Israel!” and “To the Israeli ambassador: get the hell out of our country!”

“We will tear this wall down,” Moustafa Abu Saif, 32, told GlobalPost recently. “It will be torn down just like we tore down the Mubarak regime.”

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to formalize relations with Israel. But as many as 54 percent of Egyptians now want their county's treaty with Israel annulled, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in April.

Bloomberg reports that the state-run Nile News aired live images of the demonstration at the embassy on Friday, and "said protesters in another part of Egypt’s capital hurled stones at the Interior Ministry and that some tried to storm the building."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/110909/egypt-israel-cairo-protests-embassy