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Israel repatriated families of its diplomats in Egypt on Saturday in response to the unprecedented street protests in the Arab state with which it has a 1979 peace deal.

“A special aircraft brought back to Israel on Saturday the families of diplomats and other official envoys, as well as about 40 Israelis on private visits to Cairo who wished to leave,” said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

The Israeli ambassador to Egypt remains in the country.

Israel on Saturday kept a low profile over the unfolding events in Egypt, where protesters have pressed for the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, fearful of being accused of interfering.

But a senior official expressed concern over the possible fall of Mubarak.

“The most worrying thing is the climate of uncertainty that is widespread in the country, the most influential in the Middle East,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP

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