Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel today, after five of its troops died after the ambush against Eilat in which seven Israelis died.
Latest from Egypt
The Associated Press reported today that Egypt recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv. Egypt said that the ambassador would not return until Israel finished investigating the deaths of at least three (other reports say five) of its soldiers.
The Egyptian interim cabinet also objected to Israel blaming lax security on the Egypt-Israel border for Thursday’s terrorist incident. At least seven Israelis (one soldier and six civilians) died in three separate attacks near Eilat, the resort city on the Gulf of Aqaba. Some of the men who attacked two buses, a military vehicle, and a private car were wearing Egyptian desert fatigues.
Israel retaliated with airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. Reports on how three (or five) Egyptian soldiers died are sketchy and inconsistent. At least three versions of the story have come out of the region:
- Three Egyptian soldiers died in one of the Gaza Strip airstrikes.
- A terrorist blew himself up among a squad of Egyptians, killing five.
- Tzahal (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers crossed into the Sinai to go after the terrorists, got into a firefight with Egyptian troops, and killed five.
Israel apologized for the deaths of the Egyptian soldiers. Egypt will not accept that apology.
What that means
The latest report from Ynet News suggests that Egypt has backtracked from a formal recall of its ambassador. Recalling an ambassador is a serious matter, and could mean war. Many people in Egypt seem to want war with Israel. They picketed, chanted, and threw firecrackers at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, saying that the Israeli envoy should go home. Cairo summoned him to accept a reprimand but has not—yet—expelled him.
Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs predicted war today, and suggested that Egypt’s new rulers have always wanted that.
More to the point, open hostilities are still going on between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) forces have fired more than 80 rockets into the Negev since the Thursday incident. A man in Beersheba died of fatal wounds he received earlier.
Hamas has declared that it will no longer restrain itself from attacking Israel.
The United Nations, for its part, refused to condemn the Thursday incident. Incredibly, the representative from Lebanon said that it would support a vote to condemn the incident only if it also condemned Israel for killing those who carried it out.
Israel’s UN ambassador did not mince words:
It is outrageous that the Security Council did not clearly condemn the deliberate and appalling murder of many innocent Israeli civilians, which occurred yesterday in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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