An Israeli Cabinet minister has expressed rare public criticism of Egyptian government action against Islamist militants in Egypt's Sinai desert.

Sinai borders both Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Militants operating in the lawless desert peninsula have launched attacks on Israel and smuggled weapons through tunnels into Gaza for use against Israel.

The militants have also targeted Egyptian forces.

Cabinet minister Moshe Yaalon, a former army chief of staff, told Israel Radio Thursday that Israel cooperates on security with Egypt's new government, headed by President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, also the parent movement of Hamas.

Still, Yaalon added: "To say that we are satisfied with Egyptian activity in Sinai, I can't say we are satisfied yet."

It was not clear whether he was articulating an official government position.