The Egyptian government and population have challenged the Israeli response to a Palestinian attack on Thursday, which has involved bombardment of different areas of the Gaza Strip and a full lockdown of the borders.Egypt lodged an official protest demanding an investigation of the killing of three Egyptian border guards by the Israeli military during Israeli operations that followed a Palestinian attack on an Israeli bus.

An Egyptian official told the MENA News Agency, ‘Egypt has demanded an urgent probe into the circumstances of the deaths and injuries of Egyptian forces’ members inside our borders.’

Although the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed that the bus attackers entered Israel from Egypt in order to carry out the attack, Egyptian officials denied the charge, claiming that their hold on the border is secure.

Following the attack on the Israeli bus, Egyptian border officials shut down the Rafah border, the only crossing point for Gazans to leave or enter the besieged coastal strip.

Also on Friday, over a thousand Egyptian protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo, demanding an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza, and calling for justice for three Egyptian border guards that were killed by Israeli soldiers who crossed the border in pursuit of the bus attackers.

Protesters chanted, ‘Close the embassy! Expel the ambassador!’. They challenged the Israeli bombardment of Gaza that continued through Thursday night and Friday, following the attack against Israeli soldiers and civilians on Thursday afternoon.

One protester climbed a dozen stories to the top of the building and removed the Israeli flag, replacing it with a Palestinian one, with the crowd cheering his action from below. Some of the protesters then burned the Israeli flag taken from the building.