An Israeli citizen imprisoned for 12 years in Egypt on charges of
spying, announced that he has begun a hunger strike in protest of the lack
of measures taken to ensure his release, Israel Radio reported
Ouda Tarabin, a Beduin resident from Rahat, stated
that his hunger strike was implemented in light of Israeli and Egyptian
evasion of responsibilities in regard to his case.
not done enough to secure my release even though I was innocent,"
Tarabin wrote in a letter penned to the Israeli ambassador in Cairo,
Tarabin requested the letter be delivered to
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, writing that Egypt had not
provided him a fair trial.
Tarabin was 10 years old when his family moved from Egypt to Israel, and was subsequently granted Israeli citizenship.
He has been held in Egypt since 2000, when he was sentenced in absentia under the country’s
Emergency Law to 15 years in prison for espionage. He allegedly did not
have access to a lawyer or legal assistance during his interrogation or
Yitzhak Meltzer, Tarabin's lawyer, called for the
government to urge Cairo to monitor his health by means of an Israeli
doctor or a Red Cross representative.
Meltzer and Tarabin's family said they would hold the Egyptian government accountable for the outcome of the strike.
over Tarabin’s release began during the 2011 US-mediated
Egyptian-Israeli negotiations for the release of Ilan Grapel, an
Israeli-American law student held for nearly five months on charges of
spying for Israel. Grapel was freed in October of last year in exchange for 25
Egyptian security prisoners.
Jerusalem and Cairo had been involved in intensive negotiations to secure his release over recent years. Gershon Baskin and Oren Kessler contributed to this report.