Egyptian soldier stands guard at the Taba cro
Egyptian soldier stands guard at the Taba croAFP photo

Egypt's public prosecutor on Wednesday referred nine people, including six foreigners, to trial for allegedly spying for Israel, the official MENA news agency reported.

Three Egyptians and six Israelis were referred to a criminal court, though it was unclear if any of them were in the country, the AFP news agency reported.

Four of the Israelis are said to be intelligence officers and two are Arab Israeli citizens, MENA said.

Investigations by the state security prosecutor showed the defendants had "passed on information to Israeli military intelligence services to harm Egypt's national security and the country's higher interests," MENA said.

The information pertained to the security situation in the Sinai peninsula and the presence and movements of extremist Islamist groups there, the agency reported.

Earlier this month, security forces arrested an Egyptian man on suspicion of spying for Israel, accusing him of having worked for Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service.

Egypt's courts are currently judging the case of a Jordanian engineer accused of having spied for Israel, according to AFP.

In June 2011, Egypt convicted US-Israeli dual national Ilan Grapel of spying for Israel, but freed him four months later as part of an exchange that saw Israel release 25 Egyptians from its jails.