Israeli-Arab suspected of smuggling weapons into Egypt

Egyptian security forces say suspect was in possession of with weapons, ammunition; Israel considering relocating embassy elsewhere in Cairo out of security concerns.

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October 24, 2011 01:51
1 minute read.
Soldiers stand watch on the Egyptian border.

egyptian border 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

An Israeli-Arab man was allegedly arrested Thursday on suspicion of attempting to smuggle weapons across the Egyptian border at Taba, according to media reports published Sunday.

According to the media report, the suspect was found with a wooden box containing a rifle, pistols and ammunition.

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A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect, a driver for a tourism agency, was on his way to meet another tourism worker on the other side of the Taba Border Crossing, according to media reports.

The Foreign Ministry said that initial reports on the arrest came from the Egyptian media and that it was investigating the matter.

Separately, Egyptian media reported Saturday that Israel and Egypt are putting the “finishing touches” on a list of prisoners to be freed in exchange for American- Israeli Ilan Grapel, though reports differed over the deal’s timing and scope.

Al-Youm al-Sabeh newspaper reported that Yasser Reda – Cairo’s ambassador to Israel who has been serving as an intermediary between the two countries on the issue – provided the prisoner list to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry this weekend.

Grapel, a law student from Queens, New York, has been charged with spying, sedition and inciting Egyptians to violence during the revolution that unseated president Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt Yitzhak Levanon said Sunday that Israel may move its embassy in Cairo to another location in the city, Israel Radio reported.

“Israel is considering moving its embassy offices in Egypt to another location over concerns for the safety of its diplomats,” said Levanon, according to the report.

Israeli diplomats were evacuated from the Embassy in Cairo in September, when hundreds of Egyptian protesters attacked the complex.

The protesters were incensed by the accidental killing of five Egyptian soldiers by IDF forces pursuing terrorists across the border following a terrorist attack near Eilat in August.

Levanon said it is still not known when Israeli diplomats are expected to return to Cairo, the report said.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said there was nothing new in his words and that it was examining alternatives to the existing embassy. Diplomats may or may not return to the same office, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, and added that no decision had been made.


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