Israeli jailed in Egypt begins hunger strike

Beduin-Israeli announces hunger strike after 12-year imprisonment on charges of espionage.

Prison jail generic (photo credit: Courtesy)
Prison jail generic
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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 Wednesday.
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.
"Israel has not done enough to secure my release even though I was innocent," Tarabin wrote in a letter penned to the Israeli ambassador in Cairo, Yaakov Amitai.
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 thereafter.
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.
Speculation 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.