By Naser al-Azzazi
Three Egyptians from North Sinai recently appeared in front of a criminal court accused of spying for the Israeli intelligence organisation Mossad.
The case has cast a shadow on the citizens of Sinai, with the region’s political parties rejecting the actions of those accused, pointing out the history of those in the region who have long stood up to defend Egypt.
The prosecution in the State Security Court, led by Hisham al-Qarmuta, ruled to have the nine defendants tried in the Ismailia Criminal Court on charges of seeking to spy on behalf of Israel. Four of the defendants are Israelis accused of working closely with the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate. These included Danni Ovadia, Aharon Danon, David Yakov and Shlomo Sofer. Abdullah Salim Andm Ibrahim a-Rakiva and Omar Herev Abu Jared are said to be Arab Israeli citizens from the Afakim region in the city of Beer Sheba, who have also been tried along with three Egyptian citizens.
Ali Farag Rashid, a tribal elder and leader of the Arab Party for Justice and Equality, said: “We as Sinai residents are proud of our patriotism and service with Egypt’s armed forces, beginning in 1948, and extending all throughout 1956, 1967 and ending with our victory in the 1973 war. During the 10 years that Israel occupied the Sinai, no resident of the region ever cooperated with the Israeli government, a fact made clear by the Egyptian secret service’s own records. We as the sons of Sinai will reject the actions committed by those we know if they are found guilty of a crime.”
Regarding the penetration of Israeli mobile service networks in the border regions of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, Rashid said he had previously, as a member of the Shura Council, presented a memorandum to the country’s National Security Committee detailing the dangers of the government’s lack of monitoring of foreign networks operating within the country’s borders. He added that he had discussed this issue with Minister of Interior Muhammad Ibrahim, who promised to solve this problem and work to strengthen the safety and soundness of domestic mobile service providers.
The accused are said to have been living in Rafah at the time of their arrest. They were accused of providing Israeli intelligence with the locations of secret state security headquarters in Rafah, the location of tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip, and the locations of planned ambushes set to be launched by state security on locations in the area.