An Egyptian source has told DPA that the Israeli citizen arrested in Taba, near the border with Israel, has been held for interrogation at a South Sinai security facility since Friday and has not been transferred to Cairo.
The source said that Andrei Pshenichnikov, 25, a Russian Israeli, had crossed the border illegally, adding that his answers during the interrogations were unconvincing. However, the source added that it has not yet been established that Pshenichnikov is a spy.
Pshenichnikov’s family said he has been detained for unknown reasons. His mother told the Israeli Yediot Ahronot news website that he phoned her few days ago and said he was detained at a police station in Egypt.
The Israeli foreign ministry has confirmed the detention and said it was following the case.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz's website had quoted Pshenichnikov’s friends as saying that he had been taken to a prison facility in Port Said. They added that they did not have reliable information about the reasons behind his arrest and possible charges against him.
Pshenichnikov’s life took a drastic turn after leaving service with the Israeli Defense Forces, according to Haaretz, which reported that he upon leaving the military he started working as an activist with several leftist groups.
Edited translation from DPA