The Egyptian government decided to recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv pending an Israeli apology for its statements regarding what was described as “hasty accusations made by Israeli leaders following the Eilat attack”.The Egyptian Ministerial Council held a special meeting to discuss the latest events on the Egypt-Israel border, and issued a strong condemnation regarding Israel’s retaliation towards the bombing. It also voiced a strong condemnation towards the Thursday Eilat attack.
On Thursday, gunmen attacked an Israeli bus carrying off-duty Israeli soldiers in the coastal city of Eilat, in addition to an empty buss and a vehicle, killing eight soldiers and wounding 30.
After the attack, Israeli soldiers opened fire towards the Egyptian border killing three Egyptian security officers. The Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza claimed responsibility for the attack.
Israel launched several Air Strikes against the Gaza Strip killing 15 Palestinians, including children, in 24 hours, and injuring at least 40 others. Two senior fighters were also among the dead.
Responding to the Israeli accusations, Egypt said that some Israeli leaders rushed into making statements accusing Egypt of not acting to foil it.
In its condemnation, the Egyptian Ministerial Council stated that Egypt rejects any attempt to hold it responsible “for an attack that was caused by Israel’s failure to secure its borders”, and added that the Egyptian security campaign in Sinai has nothing to do with the Eilat attack.
The Ministry further stated that “Israel is legally and politically responsible for the repercussions of killing the Egyptian border officers”, considering the shooting as “a direct violation to the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement”. It called on Israel to initiate an investigation into the issue.
“Egypt will conduct all needed efforts to secure its borders with Israel, and will support any act that aims at foiling any infiltration attempt into Israel”, the Ministry said in its statement, “Also, Egypt will not hesitate in responding to any Israeli activity in the border area”.
The Ministerial Council concluded its statement by demanding that Israel must apologize for its attack against the Egyptian border, and for the hasty statements of its leaders accusing Cairo of being responsible for the Eilat attack.
“The council will wait to see the results of the Israeli investigation, and will weigh the issue”, the statement reads, “We demand an apology from Israel, until then, we will recall our ambassador to Tel Aviv”.