On Friday and Saturday there were protests outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo after Israeli security forces killed four Egyptian soldiers and a policeman whilst hunting down the gunmen who had staged an earlier attack in Israel. The protesters were calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

23-YEAR-OLD painter, Ahmed El-Shahat, decided to take matters into his own hands, climbing to the top of the 13-storey building to remove the Israeli flag. He managed this at night, with no rope, whilst carrying an Egyptian flag which he then swapped for the Israeli one.

There are a few videos knocking around YouTube, but the clearest I could find was posted on Zeinobia’s blog. (Which, if you are interested in what’s happening in Egypt, you really should read.)

Zeinobia says El-Shahat bypassed security around the building by waiting for the shift change, and that “when he was on the eighth floor he found an officer standing in some window with a weapon, Shahat gave him an ok sign and the officer replied back with an ok sign.”

But rather than “Spiderman”, El-Shahat has been dubbed “Flagman”. According to Al Masry Al Youm, #flagman was the top trending topic on twitter around 3am Saturday.

I’m not sure how I feel about all this. On the one hand, I think it was a stupid stunt that could have backfired really badly in all sorts of ways. On the other hand, fuck – dude free-climbed 13 storeys and removed an Israeli flag from the top of their emabassy. Damn!

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