Offical: Egypt to let Israeli biker go

Shahori's release to be secured as 2nd Israeli crosser arrested.

April 25, 2010 18:30
1 minute read.
Soldiers stand watch on the Egyptian border.

egyptian border 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Egypt will likely soon release an Israeli who accidentally crossed the border on his motorcycle last week, an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Sagi Shahori, 36, from Kadesh Barnea (Nitzanei Sinai), was reportedly found in possession of a handgun by Egyptian security forces after unintentionally crossing the border, a development which has delayed his release.

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In a related development, a second Israeli crosser was arrested by the Egyptians. Army Radio reported Sunday that a 44-year-old man with a mental disability crossed the Red Sea border with Egypt by swimming across. The man was declared missing in Israel until Egyptian authorities reported his capture.

While Israeli diplomats have been in touch with the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv regarding both Israelis, the main efforts to secure Shahori’s release have been carried out by the IDF, which is in contact with the Egyptian military.

The IDF refused to confirm claims by the official that Shahori’s release was imminent.

He has been taken for questioning by Egyptian security forces in El-Arish in northern Sinai, the Post has learned, and the Egyptian authorities intend to deport him after questioning him.

The official said the deportation process was delayed because Sunday was Sinai Liberation Day in Egypt, celebrating the final withdrawal of IDF troops and the handing over of sovereignty of the peninsula to Egypt on April 25, 1982.

Shahori has participated in dozens of motorbike competitions, and routinely rode through southern Israel along the Sinai border.

His bike had reportedly become stuck in a sand dune after he unintentionally crossed the border, and he was arrested by Egyptian soldiers shortly afterward.

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