Israel apologized to Egypt on Saturday for killing three soldiers on Egyptian soil as it chased gunmen responsible for the deaths of eight Israelis. The killings and Egypt’s threat to withdraw its Israeli ambassador in response reveal increased tensions between the two nations — both key U.S. allies — and reflect the shifting relations between Middle Eastern states in reaction to the region’s pro-democracy uprisings. –ARK

The Los Angeles Times:

Eager to head off a diplomatic crisis with its most important peace partner, Israel apologized to Egypt on Saturday over the deaths of three Egyptian soldiers who were accidentally killed last week during an Israeli military incursion into the Sinai peninsula.

But even if a deeper fracture was averted by the rare expression of regret, a spat that saw Egypt threaten to recall its ambassador is another sign of the rising ill will between the two key U.S. allies. The episode also reflects how pro-democracy rebellions spreading across the Arab world are creating new realities in the decades-old Mideast conflict.

… The latest test of the landmark 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace accord came Thursday, when gunmen killed six civilians and two Israeli soldiers in southern Israel. Israeli forces chased the militants across the border into Egypt, where the Egyptian soldiers were killed, apparently in assaults by Israeli helicopters. Israel says the attackers originally came from the Gaza Strip and infiltrated Israel through the Sinai desert.

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