Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, died on Tuesday at the age of 91 after undergoing treatment in intensive care following surgery.
The former air force officer will be buried in a military funeral but the timing was still unclear, a military source told Reuters.
Mubarak’s son Alaa said in a Twitter post that included images of his late father that he had died on Tuesday morning.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday expressed “deep sorrow for the passing of my personal friend Hosni Mubarak.”
“On behalf of the citizens and Government of Israel, I would like to express deep sorrow on the passing of President Hosni Mubarak. President Mubarak, my personal friend, was a leader who led his people to peace and security, to peace with Israel,” Netanyahu said. “I met with him many times. I was impressed by his commitment; we will continue to follow this common path. I would like to send condolences to President A-Sisi, to the Mubarak family and to the Egyptian people.”
Mubarak was ousted following mass protests in 2011. He was arrested two months later and spent several years in prison and military hospitals.
He was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators during the 18-day revolt, but was freed in 2017 after being cleared of the charges.
He was however convicted in 2015 along with his two sons of diverting public funds and using the money to upgrade family properties. They were sentenced to three years in jail.
In an early reaction, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the Arab world had lost a statesman who took significant national and historic positions.
Mubarak did not leave the country after his overthrow, unlike Tunisia’s Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled with his family to Saudi Arabia after being ousted in protests that triggered the “Arab spring” revolts that spread to Egypt and elsewhere in the region.
In contrast, the Mubarak family has stayed in Egypt since 2011 but kept a low profile.
Many Egyptians who lived through Mubarak’s time in power view it as a period of autocracy and crony capitalism. His overthrow led to Egypt’s first free election, which brought in Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
Mursi lasted only a year in office after mass protests in 2013 led to his overthrow by then defence chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president.
Mubarak-era figures, meanwhile, are gradually being cleared of charges, and laws limiting political freedoms have raised fears among activists that the old regime is back.
Mubarak had long maintained his innocence and said history would judge him a patriot who served his country selflessly.