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Israel-Egypt border crossing. Taba
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Report: 4 'Mossad men' in Egypt charged with espionage
Egyptian media reports 6 Israelis – 4 Israeli intelligence officials, 2 Israeli Arabs – are being charged with espionage together with 3 Egyptians for allegedly transferring information regarding army, terrorist activities in Sinai to Israel
Media outlets in Egypt reported Wednesday that Egyptian officials have decided to prosecute four Israeli intelligence officers, two Israeli Arabs and three Egyptian citizens for their role in an alleged Israeli spy-ring.

 

The Foreign Ministry denied having any knowledge of the incident and said: "We are unaware of any such affair, certainly not one that includes Israelis. We will follow the developments closely so as to ascertain the origins of these false reports."

 

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Some of the reports claimed that the four Israelis were "Mossad men," while others sufficed with "inteligence officers," but all failed to specify the whereabouts of the suspects and it remains unclear whether the trial will take place in absentia or not.

 

According to Egyptian state television, the names of the suspects involved are Danni Ovadia, Aharon Danon, David Yakov, Shlomo Sofer, Abdallah Salim Ibrahim a-Rakiva and Omar Herev Abu Jared, the last two are said to be residents of the northern Negev.

 

Judge Hisham el-Karmouty of the Egyptian security prosecution on Wednesday referred the Israelis to a criminal court for allegedly passing on sensitive information to a foreign country on security centers in the Sinai Peninsula and about tunnels running under Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip.

 

Trouble in Sinai

According to the Egyptian reports, the three Egyptians are suspected of transferring information regarding security arrangements and positions of Egyptian military forces in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as those of terrorist organizations active in the region, to the Israeli defense establishment through the Israeli intelligence officers and Arab citizens.

 

The reports further claimed that the Egyptian suspects infiltrated into Israel to meet with their operators in the Beersheba region, where they passed on information and received further instructions.

 

Two of the suspected Egyptians, Ude Taleb Ibarhimi and Salma Hamed Abu Jared, are both residents of Rafah and allegedly spied for Israel from December 2006 and May 2013. According to the report, the two admitted to spying for Israel in return for 30,000-40,000 Egyptian pounds (roughly $4,280–$5,700).

 

The investigation was conducted by the country's military prosecution and the reports stressed that the communication between the group was carried by an Israeli mobile company.

 

It remains unclear whether the incident is connected to reports published some two weeks ago regarding the arrest of an Egyptian citizen who was allegedly recruited by the Mossad in 2011.

 

According to that report, the Egyptian intelligence followed the movements of the suspected man, documenting his clandestine meetings with "Mossad men" in a number of Arab countries during the last two years.

 

Last April, Major-General Samih Ahmad Bashadi, head of security in northern Sinai confirmed the reports according to which a spy network that operated in the area for Israel was discovered.

 

On the same day, the Egyptian governmental newspaper al-Akhbar reported that this was a network that was revealed by the Egyptian security and included eight Egyptian and Palestinian citizens.

 

The reports came amid rising pressure on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi who has been facing massive opposition protests. According to several opposition forces, a protest planned for June 30 will put an end to Morsi's presidency.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

 

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