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Iran Press TV

Egypt releases convicted Israeli spy

Iran Press TV

Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:24PM

Egyptian officials have released an Israeli who served 15 years in prison on proven charges of espionage for the Zionist regime amid improving ties between Egypt and Tel Aviv.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Thursday that Ouda Tarabin, a Bedouin Arab hailing from a tribe in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, arrived in the occupied territories earlier in the day.

Tarabin was arrested in 2000 when he was 19 years old.

The statement said Tarabin had completed his sentence; however, Egyptian media said he was freed as part of a prisoner exchange.

"At the same time, Israel released two Egyptian prisoners who were held in Israel and had finished serving their sentences," said the statement, without providing further details on the identity of the Egyptian prisoners and how long they had been behind bars.

It was unclear if the sentences of the three convicts could have been extended.

Cairo has sought better relations with the Tel Aviv regime since the government of strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power last year. The former army chief in July 2013 ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, under whom ties with Israel suffered a decline.

Israel opened a new embassy in Cairo in September four years after protesters stormed its mission during demonstrations which led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a long-time ally of the Tel Aviv regime.

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