It is still too early to say who was behind the Sinai terror attacks last week, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday at a news conference in Rome, but he said Sinai is safe for tourists.

Asked by an Egyptian correspondent to comment on Arab press speculation that Israel was behind the attacks, Mubarak said: "It was very different from other attacks and at the moment we can't accuse anyone ... We can accuse neither Israel nor anyone else until the inquiry is over."

The investigation has spread elsewhere in Egypt, including the Upper Delta, where various Muslim groups have been targeted for questioning.

The Egyptian embassy in Israel was upset yesterday by Israeli press reporting of the visit to Soroka Hospital by Egyptian consul Ahmed Ismail, including the way he was misidentified in the Israeli press as the acting ambassador from Tel Aviv.

The diplomat was verbally attacked by some relatives of wounded victims. "The emphasis on the negative aspects of the visit achieved the opposite effect of the visit ... next time, they won't allow diplomats to visit," said an Egyptian source.

The Israeli media played up an incident with Arye Doron, whose brother was wounded at Ras Satan. Doron returned the flowers the diplomat brought and aggressively complained about the Egyptian behavior after the bombings.

Egyptian sources repeated Cairo's position that it tried to cooperate with Israel as much as possible, but Israel continues its attacks, especially in the media.

Egypt is emphasizing that the decision to allow Israeli army rescue activity on Egyptian soil was made in Mubarak's office and such a gesture would not have been made to any other country bordering Egypt.

"That emphasizes the close connection between the countries, and this incident will turn out to be a turning point for the better in relations between the two countries," said the Egyptian source.