Israeli held in Egypt released, then rearrested

A day after a court decides to let Andre Pshenichnikov out of jail, local public prosecutor orders a retrial

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Andre Pshenichnikov (photo credit: Ariel Schalit/AP)
Andre Pshenichnikov (photo credit: Ariel Schalit/AP)

An Israeli citizen, held in an Egyptian prison for over a month after he crossed the border between the two countries illegally, was back behind bars on Sunday, a day after a local court ordered his release and deportation.

Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported on Sunday that the Sharm al-Sheikh public prosecutor ordered a retrial of Andre Pshenichnikov, the left-wing activist who reportedly entered Egypt in order infiltrate into Gaza.

Pshenichnikov, 23, who immigrated with his family from Tajikistan to Israel 13 years ago, was picked up in the Sinai Peninsula in late December 2012. Egyptian security sources said he was arrested after filming security installations in the peninsula. However, when questioned by police, Pshenichnikov said he wanted to slip into Gaza to join the armed resistance against Israel.

Earlier in 2012 Pshenichnikov caused a stir when he declared that he wished to renounce his Israeli citizenship and adopt Palestinian citizenship. Pshenichnikov was detained by Israeli police for residing illegally in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. There he told police that he wants to break all ties with Israel, give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian one instead.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the ministry had not received official confirmation from Egyptian authorities on Pshenichnikov’s release or his facing retrial.

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