UPDATE 1-Egypt builds wall around Israeli embassy in Cairo

Mon Sep 5, 2011 4:04pm GMT
 

* Move follows repeated angry protests outside embassy

* Egyptian climbed embassy last month to remove flag

* Official denies wall is to protect Israeli mission (Adds new details paragraph 3)

CAIRO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Egypt has walled off Israel's embassy in Cairo after tensions between the two countries sparked a series of angry protests that reached a climax last month when a demonstrator scaled the building and removed the Israeli flag.

As work began on the wall a few days ago, many Egyptians gathered nearby to show their displeasure. Some sprayed "The people want the fall of the wall" onto its smooth concrete.

Later on Monday, state TV showed footage of construction workers painting the wall in the colors of the Egyptian flag and writing on it "Egypt at all times".

Egyptian officials said the mainly concrete barrier, roughly 2 1/2 metres (8 feet) high, was to protect other residents of the high-rise embassy building, not the Israeli mission.

"The goal ... is to protect the lower floors of the building and prevent tensions between protesters and residents," daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted local governor Ali Abdel-Rahman as saying.

Egypt's relations with Israel have cooled since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a staunch U.S. ally, in a popular uprising in February.   Continued...

 
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