(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Israel’s embassy in Cairo has been closed for the past five months over alleged security issues in a move described by Egypt as “strange and inexplicable”.
The Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the security situation in Egypt prompted the closure of the embassy, with Israel's ambassador to Cairo, David Govrin, and his diplomatic staff working from Jerusalem al-Quds.
According to the report, the additional pay they receive for working abroad has been retroactively canceled for the months they've worked in Israel.
"This is an embassy that has been evacuated from the country in question," the ministry of foreign affairs said in a notice, citing the reason behind the cut.
A senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry official said, "Israel's conduct regarding the closed embassy is strange and inexplicable to me."
"Israel set several conditions to returning the ambassador and diplomatic staff, and Cairo's security chiefs took these conditions very seriously and were committed to meeting them. But even following these talks, the ambassador has yet to return, and there is no date for the embassy to be reopened," the official said.
The Egyptian official further said the Israeli mission was supposed to return to Cairo several weeks ago, but it appeared that following attacks on Coptic churches, Israel went back on that decision.
"We have no new information about the Israeli mission returning to Cairo," the official said.
Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab governments that have official diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv and host Israeli missions. The rest of the Arab governments have no diplomatic relations with the Israeli regime, and seek to portray themselves as Tel Aviv's traditional adversaries and upholders of the Palestinian cause.
Even so, reports have indicated that some of the governments, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have had secret relations with Tel Aviv, covertly appeasing the regime.