(Reuters) - Ahmed al-Shahat clambered up the façade of Israel's high-rise Cairo embassy, scaling over 21 floors, to pull down the flag of the Jewish state and replace it with Egypt's national colours.Uh-huh. The "death" [sic] of eight Israelis. Zayed doesn't mention that the "militants" responsible for shooting dead the eight Israelis at point-blank range in a terror attack were Palestinian Arabs dressed as Egyptian soldiers. And with renowned open and accurate reporting in the Arab media, we're quite sure that news never made it to the protesters outside the embassy either.
"Raise your head high -- you are Egyptians," thousands cried as Shahat, now known as "Flagman", tore down the white and blue Israeli flag to applause, fireworks and nervous inaction from hundreds of soldiers and police at the scene.
Egyptians long unable to display their hostility to Egypt's perceived passive and often complacent ties with Israel under former president Hosni Mubarak were showing they were no longer afraid to vent their frustration in public.
The generals ruling Egypt since Mubarak's overthrow in February are faced with a dilemma to pursue a more assertive policy towards Israel in line with public opinion, while still protecting the integrity of a peace treaty that gives them billions of dollars in U.S. aid.
"The Egyptian policy towards Israel has not been very popular in the last 15 years and the public wants a more assertive policy towards Israel," Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere of the American University in Cairo said.
"The deep-seated feeling among a majority of Egyptians - including those that support peace -- is that policies towards Israel are too soft and sometimes complacent. This policy has to change and this is what these events point to," he said.
Protesters camped in front of the Israeli embassy for more than a week to show their anger over the killing of five Egyptian security men when Israeli forces pursued militants blamed for the death of eight Israelis.
And while Zayed showers attention on the man who climbed 21 floors to tear down the Israeli flag as a proud symbol of the Egyptian public's newfound freedom to express its antipathy toward the Jewish state, the Reuters correspondent apparently missed another Egyptian man who demonstrated his feelings in an even more graphic way: