Arab media gave wide coverage to Iraq's missile strike against Israel early Friday but gave no official reaction on the Muslim Sabbath.
Western allies generally condemned the attacks and hoped Israel would not respond with force and imperil the multinational effort against Iraq that includes several Muslim nations.Egyptian newspapers carried the news in banner headlines, and Cairo Radio and television interrupted normal programs to bring news of the Iraqi strike against the Jewish state.
Jordanian media carried extensive coverage of the Iraqi missile strike but neither Amman radio nor state-run Jordanian television expressed approval or disapproval for the action.
Newspapers and official media in Syria also carried the news but again with no official comment.
Cairo Radio said Arab states and the United States expected Israel to demand a "political price" if it refrained from attacking Iraq once the war in the gulf was over, but did not say what that price would be.
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, whose country is the only Arab state to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, warned the Jewish state last Wednesday to refrain from taking part in the conflict, even if Iraq attacked it first.
Syria, at odds with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, said last week that Israel should refrain from any involvement in the war, even if Iraq carried out its threat to attack it.
"Syria will not accept that Israel attacks Iraq, an Arab country, even if is provoked by Iraq," Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Sharaa told reporters during a news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State James Baker.
Sharaa warned that Israeli involvement in the conflict now waging in the gulf would "mix the political cards in the region."
In Moscow, the Soviet Union traded on its warming relations with Israel to urge it not to "give in to provocation" by retaliating for Iraq's missile attack.
Moscow also sent appeals to its traditional Middle East friends, including Syria, Jordan and Libya, asking them to show restraint and not to allow Saddam to turn the war into another Arab-Israeli conflict, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Belonogov said.
Britain condemned the attack and called on the Jewish state to refrain from military retaliation in order to maintain the anti-Iraq coalition.
Prime Minister John Major was "appalled at these unprovoked and unforgivable attacks," a 10 Downing St. spokeswoman said.
The German government condemned the attacks but warned that an Israeli involvement in the war would fuel tension in the region. A spokesman said the Bonn government welcomed the restraint Israel had shown so far.
Chief spokesman for French President Francois Mitterrand, Hubert Vedrine, acknowledged Israel's right of self-defense, but said retaliation would "not necessarily be opportune from either a practical or military point of view at this stage."
Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu expressed regret over the Iraqi attack, according to the Kyodo News Service, and said his government was considering dispatching military transport planes to the gulf to rescue war refugees.