Israel has opened its new Cairo embassy inside its ambassador’s residence, saying on Thursday that holdups in finding separate premises as is customary had encumbered an already challenging relationship with Egypt. Israel’s previous embassy, in the upper stories of a sooty apartment bloc on the Nile corniche dwarfed by business towers and luxury hotels, was ransacked in 2011 by a mob incensed at the cross-fire killing of five Egyptian border guards by the Israeli army as it repelled a raid by Sinai Islamist insurgents. Since then, Israeli diplomats had worked out of the ambassador’s villa in Cairo’s leafy, heavily policed Maadi district, riding out political upheavals that saw the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood followed by the current pro-Western administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The inauguration of the embassy on Wednesday went unreported by Egyptian media. Israel announced it in a statement that did not specify the mission’s location. The Israeli delegate who officiated, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, outranked the sole Egyptian representative.
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