Sadat and Begin
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, left, and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin discuss peace in 1977.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) may hold a referendum on Egypt's peace treaties with Israel, a country it refuses to recognise as a nation, a senior leader told the London-based Al-Hayat Arabic daily newspaper.

Peaceful relations between Egypt and Israel have relied on the 1979 peace treaty and the 1978 Camp David Accords.

Rashad Bayoumi, deputy supreme leader of the brotherhood, said the issue of the treaties would be placed in the hands of people.

"People will express their opinions on it," he said. "All parties can reconsider the treaty and Egyptians haven't had their say. We won't violate the treaty. We can put it for referendum among people or parliament."

In the last round of parliamentary elections, the FJP won 36.3 percent of the vote, followed by the radical Islamist Salafi al-Nour Party with 28.8 percent.

Bayoumi also said that the party does not want to recognise Israel as a nation, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"This is not an option. Whatever the circumstances, we do not recognise Israel at all," he said. "It's an occupying criminal enemy."

He added that the Muslim Brotherhood will never meet Israeli representatives for negotiations. "I will not allow myself to sit down with criminals," Bayoumi said.

In 1979, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty in the presence of US president Jimmy Carter after months of intense negotiations.

It included Israel and Egypt's mutual recognition of each other as legitimate states, the end of all fighting and the removal of Israeli armed forces from the Sinai peninsula, which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War in 1967.