Egypt arrests Israeli for illegally crossing border

Security forces say Tel Aviv man is a drug addict, but Ma'an reports the citizen said he was searching for Rabbi's tomb.

March 10, 2013 21:32
Men carry body of Baba Elazar during his funeral.

Abuhatzeira funeral_311 reuters. (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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Egyptian security forces arrested an Israeli citizen in Taba after he illegally crossed the border without a passport. The man told Egyptian interrogators that he crossed over from Eilat and was looking for the tomb of a rabbi in the town of Damanhour, according to a report by Maan News Agency on Sunday.

According to Egyptian security forces, the infiltrator is a drug addict.

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The famous rabbi Ya’acov Abuhatzeira is said to be buried in the town of Damanhour and is an important pilgrimage site for North African Jews. Many Jews used to visit his grave until the Egyptian government put a stop to the visits in 2012.

Abuhatzeira left his home in Morocco in 1879 on a trip to Israel, but died on the way in Egypt the next year. He is the grandfather of Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, also known as the Baba Sali, whose grave in Netivot is also a major pilgrimage site.

The incident follows the illegal infiltration into Egypt by another Israeli citizen, Andre Pshenichnikov, who was sentenced last month to two years in prison.

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