JERUSALEM (AP) - Officials in Israel are keeping an eye on the mass protests in neighboring Egypt. They're worried that a collapse of the Islamist government could threaten the historic peace treaty between the two countries. Many in Israel are afraid Islamic groups could take advantage of chaos in Egypt to launch attacks from there, or from the Gaza Strip.
But Israeli leaders have been careful not to take sides in the struggles between President Mohammed Morsi and his opponents. It was just last year that Israeli leaders were afraid that the election of Morsi -- a member of the anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood -- would cause Egypt to cancel the 1979 peace accord. Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, carefully honored that peace deal.
Morsi has been cool to Israel, but he has also shown himself to be surprisingly pragmatic. He has allowed military cooperation to continue, and he has at times served as a moderating influence. Last year, Egypt worked out a cease fire between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that ended eight days of rocket fire and airstrikes. More recently, Egypt's military has cracked down on arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.