Israeli citizen released from Egyptian prison

After serving 15 years in Egypt on charges of spying for Israel, Bedouin citizen Ouda Tarabin returns home.

Nitsan Keidar , | updated: 1:12 PM

הכלא בו שהה עודה טראבין
הכלא בו שהה עודה טראבין
צילום: רויטרס

Israeli Bedouin citizen Ouda Tarabin, who was imprisoned in Egypt for 15 years after being accused of spying for Israel, has finished his sentence and was returned to Israel a short time ago.

At the same time, Israel has released two Egyptian prisoners, who were imprisoned in Israel and have completed their sentenced. 

The story of Tarabin has occasionally made headlines over the years. There have been reports of contacts for his release though none of these came to any fruition. 

In an interview with Arutz Sheva three years ago, Tarabin's attorney, Yitzhak Meltzer, said he had never been permitted to visit the alleged spy in Egyptian jail. 

According to Meltzer, "there were Israeli delegations in Cairo dealing with the technical matters. Unfortunately, there is no discussion now about Tarabin. I understand the Israeli prime minister wants to finish the matter, so now the ball is in Egypt's court."

It is estimated the release is in part attributed to the gradual warming of relations between Israel and Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power. 

Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) praised the release and congratulated Tarabin's "family on his return after years of suffering and loneliness." 

"I followed the struggle for his release in recent years and I am pleased this cruel saga has come to an end and one more more Israeli citizen has returned home."

Herzog added, that "this expression of an improvement in relations with Egypt requires us to continue strengthening [relations] as part of Israel's foreign police.