Borders between Egypt and Israel at Taba (Photo: Reuters)
An Egyptian foreign ministry official announced on Monday that 76 Egyptians are currently detained in Israeli prisons, citing statistics that were compiled in May 2012.
Ali El-Esheery, assistant minister of foreign affairs for consulate matters, said that since May last year, eight detainees have been finalised for deportation back to Egypt.
According to El-Esheery, all 76 of the detained are adults.
El-Esheery’s comments came in response to an April statement by the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate requesting information regarding the number and detention conditions of Egyptians detainees in Israel.
The issue came under the spotlight in April when Palestinian activist Ayman Sharawna, who was on hunger strike in an Israeli jail for in 2012 and 2013, said at a press conference organised by the Doctors’ Syndicate in Cairo that over 60 Egyptian prisoners remain in Israeli prisons.
On 1 May, Egyptians detained in Israel declared a hunger strike to protest harsh detention conditions and negligence by the Egyptian authorities.
Also in May, an Egyptian government official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Ahram Online that the total number of Egyptian prisoners detained in Israel was 78.
Most of the detainees face criminal charges in Israel for "infiltrating" the country or smuggling drugs.