Before Mubarak's almost 30-year presidency began in 1981, Israel and Egypt had a rocky relationship. But Mubarak took the Camp David Accords signed by his predecessor Sadat, which brought an end to decades of conflict between the two countries, and nursed it into long-term stability. Under Mubarak, Egypt assumed a leading role in helping negotiate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and cooperated in fighting smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza. In a statement on Jan. 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that his government is now "anxiously" monitoring the situation in Egypt. "No matter what they say," Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Jan. 31, "we owe Mubarak true gratitude for being as steadfast as a rock and for working towards peace and stability in the Middle East."
Shimon PeresEhud Olmert/