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Egyptian 'spiderman' becomes hero with Israel flag protest
Published Sunday 21/08/2011 (updated) 23/08/2011 10:00
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Brazilian caricaturist Carlos Latuff
pays tribute to Egypt spiderman
[MaanImages/Carlos Latuff]
CAIRO (AFP) -- A lone protester became a hero to an exultant crowd of Egyptians and many more online by hauling down Israel's flag atop its embassy in Cairo after the border killing of Egyptian policemen.

More than 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy early Sunday and let off celebratory fireworks when the man clambered to the top floor of a high-rise housing the mission, replacing the flag with an Egyptian one.

Egypt's cabinet said an Israeli statement expressing regret for the deaths of the policemen was not enough, but stopped short of saying if it would recall its envoy from Tel Aviv.

Tensions between Israel and Egypt have surged since the deaths on Thursday of the police officers, which occurred as Israeli troops pursued militants responsible for deadly attacks near Eilat.

Rockets fired from Gaza early Sunday landed across the border in Egypt but caused no casualties, Egyptian state television reported, while a source said they could have been fired by mistake.

"Several rockets from the Gaza Strip landed this morning in Egyptian territory in the region west of the Rafah terminal, without causing casualties," the television reported.

The Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees and the armed wing of Islamic Jihad said they had lobbed rockets at an Israeli army post near Kerem Shalom which lies on the Israel-Gaza border, some two kilometers from the Egyptian frontier.

The latest tensions represent the most serious test of Israel's landmark 1979 peace treaty with Egypt since an uprising overthrew Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in February.

Egypt's military rulers and caretaker cabinet are under populist pressure to take a firm stand.

The man who took down the flag, identified as Ahmed Shehat, was led away by protesters after he descended, but not before some tore up the Israeli flag he carried down with him and kept bits as souvenirs.

Shehat became an instant idol with one Egyptian presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi, hailing him as "the people's hero" on Twitter.

Shehat was labeled the "Egyptian Spiderman" and "Flagman" on Twitter and he trended rapidly on the social networking site as Egyptians and others worldwide expressed their admiration for his stunt.

"This is for Palestine. This is for Egypt. This is for every Arab. This is for every free person," one Twitter user posted.

"Forget Spiderman, Batman, or Superman. My kids are going to grow up wanting to be like FlagMan," wrote another.

In telephone call to a television station, Shehata said he felt "indescribable happiness" after the risky feat.

"We want to expel people who are killing us. Those Jews and Zionists are part of the old regime, and we want to cut all our ties with the old regime," he said.

Military police in riot gear stood outside the embassy building but did not intervene to halt the protest. Two military police generals walked into the crowd to try to calm the demonstrators.

"Look, what happened as Israeli soldiers were chasing some gunmen on the border, they opened fire and hit our men by mistake. That's all there is to it. They didn't enter our territory," said one of the generals.

But they were rebuked by the protesters, who demanded that the military take a firmer stand against Israel. Hundreds of protesters remained outside the embassy on the Nile River as dawn broke over Cairo.

Egypt's cabinet insisted on a firm timetable to execute an Israeli offer of a joint investigation into the border deaths, according to the state news agency MENA.

"The Israeli statement was positive on the surface, but it was not in keeping with the magnitude of the incident and the state of Egyptian anger toward Israeli actions," a cabinet statement said.

"Egypt affirms its solicitude for maintaining peace with Israel, but Israel must also assume responsibility for protecting this peace," it added.

On Saturday afternoon, the foreign ministry summoned Israel's charge d'affaires for a reprimand.

The envoy, who answered the summons because the ambassador was outside the country, read out a statement by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressing regret for the deaths and offering a joint probe, Egypt's foreign ministry said.

Egyptian state television had reported earlier that Egypt would recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv. But Israel said it had received no notification of the decision.

Israeli officials accused Palestinian militants in Gaza, which also borders Egypt, of planning the attack and carrying it out after slipping into the Negev desert from Egyptian territory.

Egypt has denied the gunmen used its territory and bristled at suggestions that it had lost control of the Sinai peninsula, where its military has been conducting a week-long operation to root out Islamist militants.
1 ) Abdallah / Egypt
21/08/2011 03:11
He CLIMBED the building

2 ) Khaled el wakil / Egypt
21/08/2011 03:13
السلام علي السلام

3 ) =) / ARAB
21/08/2011 03:19

4 ) menna / egypt
21/08/2011 03:28
1000 ? cant you see ! way more than 1000

5 ) raphmanuel / philippines
21/08/2011 03:40
Wow! amazing follow me on twitter @raphmanuel

6 ) sally / usa
21/08/2011 03:46
Egyptians are awesome! No dictator or enemy should mess with it. Its mother of the world and there's a lot to prove this fact.

7 ) Gail / USA
21/08/2011 03:49
Is the embassy staff safe? I hope so!

8 ) Contessa / Lebanon
21/08/2011 03:55
Long Live this Protestor an amazing act that made millions smile

9 ) rt / russia
21/08/2011 06:12

10 ) Mo / Canada
21/08/2011 06:25
The militants who attacked Israel also killed a separate group of Egyptian soldiers. I don't see anyone protesting over that....

11 ) Joe / USA
21/08/2011 09:36
Hey Egypt, if you hadn't been tolerating the jihadification of the sinai and border areas since you "toppled" Mubarak, then there wouldn't have been attacks that killed 7 and wounded 30 in Israel. and your soldiers would not have been killed while Israel was fighting back/chasing the jihadis running back across your border. PS - stay out of others embassies or your aswan dam might disappear.

12 ) david / usa
21/08/2011 10:36
@ joe, stop running your mouth. what are you going to do about it? the ocupation will not be tolerated. if there was no occupation, none of this would of happened. the occupation will end. OCCUPATION.....

13 ) egyptian / egypt
21/08/2011 12:13
u are so distracted , never use swear agianst us "aswan dam"
if u use this we also have swears we have millions of islamist need for jehad but they respect there country and every treaty.if there is war every recactor in israel will be target..this is our swear

14 ) WLC / USA
21/08/2011 13:37
@joe Occupation??? You are stupid. @egyptian You will not like how this is all going to end even though you are a death cult member.

15 ) mustafa / usa
21/08/2011 13:47
Fools who celebrate death and destruction...

16 ) Ajibola Hasan / Lagos/Nigeria
21/08/2011 13:51
Protesters should still remine until these hypocratic ZIONIST govt find the best solution to the Israel menace toward the Arab countries. High praise to AHMED SHEHAT for what he did to removed the Israel flag and replace with Egypt flag.

17 ) Moi / Egypt
21/08/2011 15:46
Arabs are rising in DEFIANCE of status quo and dictator regimes, including the zionist occupation. Its turn is yet to come.

18 ) Ahmed / Egypt
21/08/2011 16:02
@Joe Actually the Egyptian soldiers were killed by Israeli bullets, why do you think they are issuing statements with words like "regret" and apologies ?! It was a small group of israeli soldiers who preached the borders and you can only blame israel for the attacks, you reap what you saw. We're a peaceful nation but we won't tolerate the spilling of Egyptian blood!

19 ) aramkr / usa
21/08/2011 16:03
What is the over/under on war? Six months?

20 ) aramkr / usa
21/08/2011 16:06
#1 Abdallah: Buy a dictionary.

21 ) Omar / usa
21/08/2011 16:22
go to hell Israel

22 ) Dumpsterjuice / USA
21/08/2011 16:34
What a bunch of idiots. Isreal should respond to bombings and rockets fired into its territory as an act of war and respond with clusterbombs.

23 ) Lara / Argentina
21/08/2011 17:24
The Egyptian military has shown to be useless in preventing the extremists from taking over the Sinai. If this wasn't the situation, they wouldn't be hanging around freely creating terror, and Israel would have no need to chase them down. Some Egyptians got caught up in the middle and that's reggreatable but look at the context.

24 ) heidi / egypt
21/08/2011 17:38
@rt who are you calling moron,moron?.@mo you are wrong,the Israelite soldiers who killed our soldiers as they claim by mistake and that's why we are protesting.

25 ) Wendy / Usa
21/08/2011 17:38
We will all stand before god and his son jesus and give an account for our sins, i cant wait , y'all will bend ur knee to the creator , good luck foolish people

26 ) Lukas / AntiZionist
21/08/2011 18:53
The Egyptian people are one of the most dignified in the whole world.

27 ) Strange Days / Israel
21/08/2011 19:02
An embassy or consulate is supposed to be inviolate. Of course we have seen in Syria, in Iran, in Pakistan, in Egypt that certain countries do not follow these rules. But how would it be if in the US, a mob surrounded the Egyptian embassy and replaced the flag with a christian coptic symbol? Would that go over well in Egypt? Or would the normal uncontrollable, spit flying, Islamic rage follow?

28 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/08/2011 19:12
It just goes to show how the continued existence of Israel can never be reconciled with freedom or democracy for the people of the region. Israel can only continue to exist so long as there is repression -- both within the state and among its neighbors. A dictator can be bribed or intimidated -- the trick's harder with whole peoples.

29 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/08/2011 19:16
Re Mo #10 'The militants who attacked Israel also killed a separate group of Egyptian soldiers. I don't see anyone protesting over that....' This is a good example of how to be a Zionist, one must continuously produce a false history that runs parallel to the actual one. 'Mo' is retailing the lies the IDF originally tried on but swiftly abandoned. It's now filed in his mind under 'the truth' and a year from now it will still be 'the truth' in his mind. Try asking him about 1948.

30 ) Salma / Palestine
21/08/2011 19:32
long live the FlagMan..thanks to U ;)! Mwaaaa!

31 ) Mel / USA
21/08/2011 20:03
Well done Cairo! After 67 years of brutality to its neighbours,Israel has no right to fly its flag of 'dialogue & diplomacy' in any regional territory. Israel sees mutual peace,and Arabian sovereignty,only with contempt.It only wants to expel,exterminate and dominate.
We sure saw enough of that in WW2 in Europe,and stood/fought against it. We recognise it again in Zionist-led Israel. And humanity will stand with Palestine and Egypt. Even Spiderman sides with victims,& climbs like an Egyptian!

32 ) Eman / Nablus
21/08/2011 20:30
wow, amazing indeed.

33 ) Maureen / Australia
21/08/2011 23:06
10) Mo/Canada. Yeah 'militants,' Zionist militants! It was Zionist 'militants' who killed 5 Egyptian soldiers. And in 1967 it was Zionist 'militants' who killed 250 unarmed Egyptian soldiers and bombed US liberty killing US sailors! It is obvious that Israeli warmongers are taking advantage of the Egyptian political transition!

22/08/2011 08:29

35 ) thutmosis the III / tiba
22/08/2011 12:19
i am asking all people the following :- what did israel do to all chances&offers for peace since 1979 for peace exept distroying egypts souverinity ,wealth, peoples health,and taking our "gas" allmost for free???
do you realy believe&think healthy to demand or even expect to win your

36 ) thutmosis III / germany
22/08/2011 12:52
crazy world crazy individuals like crazy crazy israel to believe or even expect
"will for peace" from neighbors after killing so many fathers , mothers, sisters, brothers& relatives for sooo many years!!!!!!!!man this is the brain of apardheit of kr?ger's homelands in africa ...is the brain of mandela in prison and killing sico& rhodesian- smith's policy's not to cure ??? are there any other qualitys you like exept: brutality... violence...distruction...torture...grief,mourning dress,death???

22/08/2011 16:27
Instead of climmbing buildings, he could have done something far more useful, such as finding housing for the poor that are forced to live in cemeteries because they're broke or distributed food for that portion of the population that exists on less than $2 a day, then he would been a real hero with a worthwhile cause

MAUREEN- Time to stop talking about & do something, instead of hiding in Australia, pretending that you're concerned, your cowardice is disgusting

38 ) Mel / USA
22/08/2011 16:45
#22" dumpsterjuice? Clusterbombs eh?

Try telling that to small childen,who have never harmed anyone,and have been blown to bits by those?
Your name suits you!
Israeli's,Egyptians,Palestinians,Bedouin died last week.The whole world knows who orchestrated it,and it wasn't any of the latter three?
Think back to 1967 in El Arish? We know what Israel did!

39 ) Carlos / USA
22/08/2011 17:54
@Maureen / Australia has hit the nail on the head! Israel should be arrested for documented and admitted war crimes by Israel. It is amazing the Mubarack government never asked Israel to arrest the criminals. I hope this government has the intelligence and the balls to demand justice for the murdered Egyptian POW's and Civilians!

22/08/2011 22:47
All of you erstwhile Palestinian advocates, how come you're still safe at home ?

41 ) Maureen / Australia
22/08/2011 23:13
37) Ben Jabo, He, "Egyptian Spiderman," and the Egyptian revolutionaries have done something very, very useful! They have rid their people of the Zionist, despot puppet, Mubarack! What a hide you have, Ben Jabo, never once did your Zionist mob ever call for the resignation of Mubarak! None of you cared for the welfare of ordinary Egyptian people! Cheap gas, blockade and oppression of Gaza Palestinians, and someone to gun down unarmed African refugees, is all Israel was interested in!

42 ) ahmed / egypt
23/08/2011 08:33
War between us and the Israelis did not because it never ends for them is the doctrine of war because of their belief that the from the Nile to the Euphrates, which the land promised them by God and did not fight with them from the Jews This is contrary to the faith and, unfortunately, it encourages them to America

43 ) Tony / New York
23/08/2011 08:50
37) Big man Ben Jabowski from Poland is calling a lady from Australia a coward. I guess Ben is used to fighting women and children from his days in the IOF. Maybe we can set up a couple rounds for you and Maureen, is that what you want Ben. You are a pathetic excuse for a man.

23/08/2011 15:41
18 ) Ahmed / Egypt
We never attacked you, just the opposite, you showed your love for "Peace" when you attacked us in 1948, 1956, 1967 & 1973
You must stop reading comic books and try reading actual history

23/08/2011 17:59
6) Sally - You have been reading too many comic books, Marval comics just cancelled Spiderman, he was deemed to be out of date & replaced
Check it out!!

Yup, they're sure awesome, half the people are on the verge of starvation,
thousands living in cemeteries because they can't afford housing
Each & every time they messed with the best, Israel, they had their clocks cleaned, headed for home as fast as their feet could carry them

23/08/2011 23:49
43 ) Tony = Phony Baloney

You and she are both cowards, staying at home, while pretending to be concerned

She had said she was coming over to help years ago, she refuses to move her butt from the safety of her home

47 ) WatcherOnTheWall / usa
11/09/2011 17:58
The real fight is over the inheritance of Abraham. Remember this oh children of Esau; And the LORD said unto Rebeca: Two nations are in thy womb, Two peoples shall be seperated from your body; One people will be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger. Genesis25:23. Why have you forgotten oh seed of Abraham what your Father said to Isaac: Therefore may GOD give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth,and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you.....

48 ) WatcherOnTheWall / usa
11/09/2011 18:16
...Be master over your brethren, andLet your mothers sons bow down to you, cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you! GEN:27;28,29. Also: May GOD ALMIGHTY bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessing of Abraham. To you and your descendants with you...

49 ) WatcherOnTheWall / usa
11/09/2011 18:30
Then Isaac answere Esau: Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; and it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall brake his yoke from your neck. GEN,27:39,40. So Esau hated Jacob bcause of the blessing.

50 ) WatcherOnTheWall / usa
11/09/2011 21:10
Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city..Then The LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. ZECHARIAH:14: 1,2,3.

51 ) WatcherOnTheWall / usa
11/09/2011 21:39
And this shall be the plauge with which The LORD will strike All the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. ZECHARIAH,14: 12. THIS SHALL NOT COME BY MAN, BUT BY MY OWN HAND , THUS SAYS THE LORD!
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