Israeli PM Says Ties With Egypt Must Be Preserved

Israel's prime minister says his country's 3-decade-old peace agreement with Egypt must be preserved.

Leftist protesters shout slogans against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his regime during a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, on Saturday Jan. 29, 2011. Demonstrators gathered in Beirut to show solidarity with protestors in Egypt. The poster in the background show Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Obscured placard says Egyptian citizens against U.S. and Israel.

JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister says his country's 3-decade-old peace agreement with Egypt must be preserved.

It's Benjamin Netanyahu's first public statement on the political turmoil affecting Israel's neighbor and ally. The Israeli leader says his "objective is to ensure that these ties be preserved."

Israeli officials have been publicly silent as protests in Egypt have destabilized the autocratic regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Crowds calling for Mubarak's resignation have clashed with police and torched government buildings.

A demonstrator holds a banner during a demonstration in a show of solidarity with protestors in Egypt and Tunisia at Damascus Gate, outside Jerusalems' Old City, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Israel signed a peace agreement with Mubarak's predecessor in 1979. Before that, the two countries had fought four wars in three decades.

Ties have been cool but stable, allowing Israel to scale back its armed forces.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during a special session of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem January 24, 2011. Today marked the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of the Knesset. Al Jazeera television station said on Sunday it had obtained 1,600 documents covering more than a decade of secret peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis overseen by various U.S. diplomats.

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Gaza Palestinian border official says Egypt has closed its border with the Hamas-ruled territory amid the raging turmoil in Egypt.

Ghazi Hamad says he expects the closure to last several days.

An Israeli passenger coming from Egypt, who declined to give his name , walks with a luggage trolley at Ben Gurion airport , near Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Jan 29. 2011. A subsidiary of Israel's national airline has whisked dozens of Israelis, including families of Israeli diplomats, out of Egypt.

The border terminal at Rafah had been rescheduled to open Sunday after a routine, two-day weekend closure. About 400 to 600 Palestinians cross through the terminal daily for medical treatment, study and family visits.

Gaza reports also said three Palestinians who were imprisoned in Egypt had escaped during the upheaval and had returned to the coastal territory through smuggling tunnels.

Hamas officials say group leaders have postponed a trip through Egypt to Syria, where they were to discuss a new proposal to free a long-held Israeli soldier.

AP