Egypt to Try 2 Israelis, 1 Egyptian for Espionage

Egyptian prosecutors have referred two Israelis and one Egyptian to trial on espionage charges, a judicial source said on Sunday.

The Egyptian is in custody and the two Israeli “fugitives” are to be tried in absentia, the sources said. The date of the trial has yet to be fixed.

Investigations indicate that the detained prime suspect, an Egyptian named Salama Suleiman who resides in the Sinai Peninsula, provided to Israel “information which would harm Egypt’s national security,” the source told Anadolu Agency.

Suleiman has allegedly offered Israeli authorities information relating to Egyptian military deployments as well as militant activity in the restive peninsula, which shares borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip, the source added.

Suleiman, the source said, received $21,000 in exchange for his service to Israel.

Earlier on Sunday, Egypt’s state MENA news agency reported that the two fugitive Israelis involved in the case are named Gomaa Adbari al-Tarabin and Shlomo Sofer and that the latter is a member of the Israeli military intelligence.

The source said that the two Israeli suspects are accused of “facilitating espionage.”

The trio will be tried in a court in the northwestern Ismailia province, the source said.

In other judicial proceedings, five Egyptians, a Jordanian engineer and seven Israeli intelligence officers are already on trial on charges of “spying” for Israel. The seven Israelis are also being tried in absentia.

In October 2011, Israel freed 25 Egyptians in exchange for Israeli-American Ilan Grapel who was detained for four months on similar charges in Egypt.

Although Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, Israel, which seized the Sinai Peninsula for six years prior to the 1973 war, is still seen in an overwhelming negative light in Egyptian public opinion.

(Middle East Eye – www.middleeasteye.net)

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