Wikileaks cables obtained by the London Daily Telegraph indicate Israel supports Hosni Mubarak's recently appointed vice president as successor to the embattled president.
Omar Suleiman also has the support of U.S. Secretary of Stateto lead a transition to democratic rule.
The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups have made it clear they will not accept Suleiman, who has served as Mubarak's intelligence chief, in a democratic government they want to replace the president's regime.
An August 2008 cable from the U.S. State Department quoted an official as saying a senior Israel defense official, David Hacham, told the Americans they expect Suleiman to replace Mubarak. The 82-year-old president, who has been accused of widespread brutality and corruption during his 30-year rule, has tried to quiet protesters by saying he won't seek a sixth presidential term in September.
Hacham told the Americans that Israel had a hot line connecting them with Suleiman, and he has been a frequent visitor to Tel Aviv.
"We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Suleiman," one U.S. dispatch said.
Suleiman has been a strong critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, backing U.S. fears that Islamic fundamentalists would take over if Mubarak is driven from power.