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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Israeli gets 2-year jail term for illegally entering Egypt's Sinai: Court sources

Egyptian authorities arrested man in December for illegally crossing border into Sinai's Taba region and taking photographs of security installations

Reuters, Tuesday 12 Feb 2013

An Egyptian court sentenced an Israeli national to two years in prison for illegally entering Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, judicial sources said Tuesday.

Egyptian authorities arrested the man in December after he slipped over the border from Israel into Sinai's Taba region and took photographs of security installations.

State media at the time identified the man, Andrei Pshenichnikov, as a 24-year-old Israeli army officer. Israeli media, meanwhile, claimed he was a civilian pro-Palestine activist.

A court in Sinai's Nuweiba region delivered the jail sentence against Pshenichnikov on Monday.

According to court sources, Pshenichnikov had failed to provide a convincing explanation as to why he had crossed into Egypt without proper documentation when he could have entered the country legally as a tourist.

Sinai has suffered from atypically lax security since Egypt's 2011 uprising, which culminated in the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt recovered the Sinai after signing a 1979 peace deal with Israel, which had occupied the strategic peninsula during the 1967 war between the two countries.

Cairo and Tel Aviv have maintained an uneasy peace ever since, with bilateral relations being frequently marred by high-profile cases of alleged espionage by Israel.

Israeli tourists have continued to holiday in Sinai, albeit in fewer and fewer numbers since a spate of bomb attacks on beach resorts between 2004 and 2006.

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