Israel has called on the United States and Europe to curb their criticism of president Hosni Mubarak "in a bid to preserve stability in Egypt" and the wider Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reports.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that the foreign ministry, in an urgent special cable, instructed its ambassadors to key countries, to "stress ... the importance of Egypt's stability".
Increasingly, president Mubarak has been isolated by swift and at times harsh criticism from Western leaders who called for reform. It is unclear how angry Egyptians will interpret Israel's apparent support for their government.
The protests in Egypt have reportedly thrown the Israeli government into turmoil, with military officials holding lengthy strategy sessions, assessing possible scenarios of a post-Mubarak Egypt.
Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said on Sunday that his government is "anxiously monitoring" the political unrest in Egypt, his first comment on the crisis threatening a government that has been one of Israel's key allies for more than 30 years.