Egyptian media over the weekend reported that Egypt's security apparatus had prevented the alleged theft of 1.7 million “Jewish documents” to Israel. A report in the Egyptian government-controlled Al-Ahram daily said that the documents, packed in 13 cartons, were confiscated by Egyptian authorities right before they were to be smuggled out of the country from Jordan, on their way to Israel. A Saudi newspaper report, commenting on the story, said that the Mossad had orchestrated the thwarted threat.
According to the reports, the boxes had been ready to be exported to Jordan, in the name of a French citizen who has since left Egypt. The report said that investigators had discovered that a member of deposed president Hosni Mubarak's government had been involved in the story; he is being sought by police for collecting the documents and delivering them to the French citizen.
The Al-Ahram report said that it was not clear where the documents came from, and Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot noted that this question puzzled Israeli scholars as well; the main trove of Jewish-related documents, the Cairo Genizah, was long ago analyzed and distributed to libraries around the world, and there have been no recent reports of recent document finds in Egypt. The report said that the documents may have been taken from Egyptian libraries, or that they had been collected by a government agency and never released. The report said that the documents date back to the 19th century and later.
Israeli officials said they had no idea which documents the reports were talking about, and that in any event Israel had no involvement in the incident.