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Israel evacuating embassy staff throughout Middle East

Fresh clashes were reported near Israeli diplomatic missions in Amman, Istanbul, Athens and other cities.

Then-Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at the ministry in Jerusalem, June 12, 2023. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Then-Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at the ministry in Jerusalem, June 12, 2023. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is moving to evacuate diplomats from several countries in the Middle East amid threats to their safety due to the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In Egypt, a campaign to expel Israeli Ambassador Amira Oron went viral on social media, Maariv reported. According to Ynet, the Israeli diplomatic team in Cairo has since been recalled to Jerusalem.

On Thursday, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported that the embassy in Jordan was evacuated at the beginning of the war at the order of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his director general, Ronen Levi.

The Israeli embassy in Manama, Bahrain, was also evacuated after being inaugurated by Cohen just over a month ago.

Following calls for mass protest against Israel in Rabat and Casablanca, Israeli Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin returned to Israel with his staff, Kan said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry told Kan it does not comment on security matters regarding embassies.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

Hamas’s murder rampage has seen Israel unleash unprecedented air power against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip as troops prepare for an expected ground operation.

On Tuesday, an explosion rocked the courtyard of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. Hamas claimed it killed 471 Palestinians and immediately blamed Israel, accusing the IDF of deliberately striking the hospital.

Despite the Israel Defense Forces, as well as U.S. President Joe Biden and the Pentagon, having confirmed that the explosion was caused by an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket, angry protesters gathered in front of Israeli diplomatic missions around the world on Tuesday evening.

Dozens of demonstrators attempted to storm the Israeli embassy compound in the Jordanian capital of Amman, AFP reported. The rioters breached a security barrier and tried to advance towards the embassy, but security forces fired tear gas to disperse them, the wire service added.

Crowds also tried to set the Israeli diplomatic mission on fire.

Meanwhile, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on “all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza,” thousands attempted to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

Jerusalem raised its travel warning to Turkey to the highest level, Israel’s National Security Council announced on Tuesday, urging all citizens to immediately leave the Anatolian nation.

Protesters also gathered at the Israeli mission in The Hague in the Netherlands. Local media reported hundreds of Muslims chanted slogans including, “Israel murderer,” and “Allahu Akbar” while trampling on Israeli flags.

Protests continued on Wednesday, with fresh clashes reported near Israeli diplomatic missions in Amman, Istanbul, Athens, The Hague and other cities.

Also on Wednesday, the Israeli and American embassies in Argentina were evacuated in response to bomb threats made by email.

Late Wednesday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for the Maldives, a Sunni Muslim country in the north-central Indian Ocean. The warning urged Israeli citizens to avoid the island nation and for those there to “be aware of the situation, remain vigilant, exercise extra caution and to keep up to date with the media for any changes [in the situation].”

Israel has placed all diplomatic missions on high alert following the events on Oct. 7. The Foreign Ministry directed diplomats to shelter at home unless given express permission from security officials.

The move came as two Israeli tourists and their local guide were shot dead in Egypt on Oct. 8.

Five days later, an Israeli embassy official was attacked in Beijing. The attack did not occur inside the embassy compound, and the diplomat was in stable condition after being evacuated to the hospital.

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