The delegation to reopen the embassy was led by Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, who was joined by other senior Foreign Ministry officials, embassy staff, and Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren.
As part of the ceremony, Gold put up a mezuzah on the embassy’s entrance, while the Israeli flag was raised and officials gave speeches.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, we managed to thwart off the threats and we are working together towards stability and prosperity in the Middle East,” Gold said.
“Egypt would always be the biggest and most important country in our region, and there is no wonder it is customary in the Arab world to call it ‘Om El Donya’—‘Mother of the World,’” he said, adding, “We are coming on Rosh Hashanah, a time of new beginnings, and this event in Cairo is also a new beginning.”
Israel closed its Cairo embassy in September 2011, during the Egyptian presidency of former Muslim Brother leader Mohammed Morsi, when it was overrun by thousands of protesters who breached the outer wall and forced embassy staffers into a safe room. The staff was eventually rescued by Egyptian commandos after an intervention by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Since El-Sisi took office in 2014, official relations between Cairo and Israel have improved.