Bedouin Israeli on hunger strike in Egyptian jail

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Bedouin citizen of Israel who has been jailed in Egypt for 12 years has begun a hunger strike.

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Ouda Tarabin has been imprisoned on charges of spying. He was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail in 2001.

Tarabin said in a letter to Israel’s ambassador to Cairo that Israel was “violating its legal and moral obligations regarding my rights and my freedom and in refraining from seriously acting to release me from prison when it knows full well that I am innocent of the accusation attributed to me.”

He also said that Egypt did not give him a fair trial and requested that the letter be delivered to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi.

Israel and Egypt have negotiated in the past for Tarabin’s release. The issue came to the fore during negotiations in 2011 to secure the release of Israeli-American law student Ilan Grapel, who was held for five months in an Egyptian prison on charges of spying for Israel.

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