Olmert said he was "sorry if innocent people were hurt in the operation in Ramallah" but sought to justify it as it saying it would protect Israel from terrorist attacks.

''Things developed in a way that could not have been predicted in advance, if innocent people were hurt, this was not our intention,'' he said.

The meeting had been called to discuss reviving Middle East peace talks and a possible Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap.

Egypt has been Egypt has been trying to organise an exchange since June, when Palestinian fighters captured an Israeli soldier and offered to swap him for hundreds of Palestinians.

Mubarak called for "the immediate halt of all acts of violence and any practices that will impede efforts'' to bring peace, the state-run MENA news agency said.