An Arab Israeli man who was held in Egypt on charges of forging documents and organ trafficking was released Monday and returned to Israel.
Egyptian authorities released Yusef al-Ubra of Rahat after his family paid a bribe, and would have stood trial in Egypt on false charges had they not paid, said Rahat businessman Yacoub Abu-Algiaan, who helped the family raise the funds to secure al-Ubra’s release. He added that the family had been spurned when they asked Arab MKs for assistance, specifically mentioning former deputy minister Ayoob Kara, a Druze Likud politician.
Al-Ubra was detained by Egyptian authorities when he tried to return to Israel via the Taba border four days ago after traveling to Egypt with his sick brother, who was continuing treatment that he had begun there several months earlier. The two were allowed to cross the border.
Israel has an ongoing advisory for Israeli citizens not to travel in the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt due to the ongoing security situation in the country.
Egypt is still holding Ouda Tarabin, a Bedouin Israeli citizen also born in Rahat, who was captured by Egyptian forces in 2000 after he illegally crossed the border. He was tried for espionage in absentia by an Egyptian military court and sentenced to 15 years in prison under Egypt’s emergency laws, which allow possibility for parole. Tarabin has maintained his innocence from his Cairo jail since his arrest.
In recent years there has been talk of a prisoner exchange of dozens of Egyptians held in Israel in return for Tarabin, but so far they have not come to fruition. Likewise, he was not included in the 2011 Ilan Grapel exchange.