Egypt prosecutor charges 9 with spying for Israel
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Egypt prosecutor charges 9 with spying for Israel

Three locals, six Israelis referred to criminal court for allegedly passing on information harmful to Egypt’s national security

Watchtower of the Egyptian army at the border with Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 19, 2013 (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Watchtower of the Egyptian army at the border with Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 19, 2013 (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Egyptian security officials say nine people have been referred to trial on charges of spying for Israel.

The suspects include three Egyptians and six Israelis — four intelligence officers and two Arab Israeli citizens — the Egyptian news agency MENA reported.

Egyptian officials said Judge Hisham el-Karmouty of the state security prosecution on Wednesday referred the nine to criminal court for allegedly passing on sensitive information to a foreign country on security centers in the Sinai Peninsula and about tunnels running under Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The suspects allegedly “passed on information to Israeli military intelligence services to harm Egypt’s national security and the country’s higher interests,” MENA said.

Earlier this month, Egyptian security forces said they arrested a local man they believed to be working for the Mossad since 2011.

In June 2011, Egypt convicted dual American-Israel citizen Ilan Grapel of spying, freeing him several months later as part of an exchange deal with Israel for 25 Egyptian prisoners

Claims by Egyptian authorities of uncovering espionage rings run by Israel are not uncommon despite a 1979 peace treaty between the two neighbors.

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