Jerusalem, Jan 31 (ANI): Israel is keeping an eye on the ongoing unrest in Egypt, fearing that the country could fall into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists if fair elections are not held.
The News York Daily News quoted Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, as saying that the threat of Islamic radicals taking over Egypt could be avoided if President Hosni Mubarak allows free polls.
"If reform is real and elections truly open, people will have no reason to vote for the radicals," Mazel added.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke his silence about the demonstrations in Egypt against the 30-year rule of Mubarak, saying that his country hopes to maintain peaceful relations with Egypt.
"The peace between Israel and Egypt has endured for over three decades, and our goal is to ensure that these relations continue. We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and in our region," he said after meeting with his cabinet.
Israel not only shares trade relations with Egypt that amounts to over 500 million dollars a year, but is also reliant on natural gas it gets from Egypt to fill its energy needs. Egypt has also aided Israel in thwarting the shipment of arms to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. (ANI)