Sept. 10 - Israeli officials say an attack on their Cairo embassy threatens regional security as well as its relationship with Egypt. Jessica Gray reports.
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The aftermath of a fierce attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
On Friday, thousands of protesters converged on the embassy, smashing down an outer wall and entering the building.
Only then did security forces intervene, sparking hours of clashes between the two sides well into Saturday morning, injuring hundreds.
The ambassador, who was not in the building at the time, and his senior staff were flown home later on Friday.
The attack has further strained already tense relations between the two countries after five Egyptian officers were shot dead in a border dispute in the Sinai Peninsula last month.
Israeli officials say the events risk upsetting the region's already shaky political balance.
SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ISRAELIS AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT, ELI SHAKED
"They understand very well how bad it will be for the Egyptian interest to turn against the United States, against the West and against the peace with Israel. It will be bad not only for Egypt and the Egyptian interest; it might be disastrous also for Saudi Arabia and Jordan."
Residents in Tel Aviv say the Egyptian government must do all it can to regain control.
(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) KHANAN SCHLEIN, ISRAELI CITIZEN
"In light of all that has happened in recent months, the truth is that I am not surprised by the events tonight in Cairo. But I must say that Obama's involvement, President Obama, as we heard early this morning he has already interfered immediately in contradiction to past events. I hope this will be seen as a clear message to the Egyptian leadership to work quickly in order to stop what is happening."
The Egyptian interior ministry has declared a state of alert, while the prime minister summoned a cabinet crisis team to meet on Saturday.
Jessica Gray, Reuters
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