Israel's defense minister said Saturday that initial results from Egypt's parliamentary elections are "very, very disturbing."
Few official results have been released from the first round vote, but leaked counts point to a clear majority for Islamist parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he hopes Egypt's first parliament to be seated after the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak will respect international treaties, including its shaky 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
Israel's main fear is the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been cool to the peace treaty and has close ties with the ruling Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip. The election is being held in stages and the final outcome won't be known until next year.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Ben Dor said Israel is not surprised by the Muslim Brotherhood's initial election gains and is convinced the Israel-Egypt peace treaty will remain intact.
"We respect the election results in Egypt. This is the Egyptian people's choice," Ben Dor said.
In a statement on a Hamas website, top Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said that "the Egyptian people have voiced their confidence in the Islamists. ... We do believe that Egyptian support in the future will be more for our cause."
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