The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported Monday that Israel’s foreign ministry urged the United States and Europe to “stress…the importance of Egypt’s stability” as widespread demonstrations wrack the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities.
Egypt has been a key ally to Israel since the two countries reached peace in 1979.
The anti-government protests present a significant threat to Israel, and although Israeli officials have remained largely silent about the unrest, they have reportedly held lengthy strategy sessions this week to address the possibility of Mubarak’s ouster.
“We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and in our region,” said Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before his cabinet’s weekly meeting on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera.
“Israel and Egypt have been at peace for more than three decades and our objective is to ensure that these ties be preserved. At this time, we must display responsibility, restraint and utmost prudence,” Netanyahu added.
If Mubarak’s autocratic regime is booted from power, the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt’s strongest opposition group – could assume control over the country. In all likelihood, that group and its allies would distance Egypt from its relationship with the West and possibly nullify the peace agreement with Israel.