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An anxious Israel watches neighboring Egypt unravel

'We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region,' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday morning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday. Israel's prime minister said Sunday that his country's 3-decade-old peace agreement with Egypt must be preserved, in his first public comment on the political unrest roiling Israel's neighbor and regional ally.

Tomer Appelbaum/AP

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes Israel's peace treaty with Egypt endures the domestic turmoil, reflecting widespread worry that demonstrations and rioting against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have jeopardized the Jewish state's most important regional alliance.

"We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region," Mr. Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday morning. "The peace between Israel and Egypt had endured for over three decades and our goal is to ensure that these relations continue."

Calls for Mr. Mubarak's ouster and the prospect of continued chaos in Israel's neighbor has raised fear of an erosion of a key security and diplomatic partnership in the Middle Eastern geopolitical balance. Israel is also worried about a chain reaction of domestic turmoil in states like Jordan and Syria, as well as the strengthening of Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank.

A key relationship in question

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