CAIRO - Egyptian security forces have detained an Israeli army officer in the Taba region of the Sinai peninsula after he snuck through a border crossing and took photographs of security property and talked to drivers, security sources said.
"The Israeli officer was arrested by national security forces on December 29. State security is now interrogating him," a national state security officer told Reuters.
Security sources in Sinai said the 24-year-old had been gathering
information about Sinai from drivers in the area near the Taba border
crossing between Egypt and Israel. The officer was taken to the Nuweiba
area in Sinai, where he was being questioned, the sources said.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that Andre Chetekov from Bat Yam was detained upon arrival to the country, and said that it is making efforts to find out more details.
Chetekov's mother told Army Radio that her son got a visa to enter Egypt last week, and was scheduled to meet friends from France in Cairo.
The man was reportedly a left-wing activist, who lived in the Palestinian territories and previously was denied a request for Palestinian citizenship.
He was not carrying a passport when he entered Sinai and his name was not on tourist arrival lists, according to the official Egyptian MENA news agency.
Egyptian state television earlier reported the arrested man was a former army officer named Andre Yacoub and had entered Egypt illegally.