AFP
Last updated: 28 July, 2012

Saudi man home after 7 years in Israeli jail

A Saudi man who spent nearly seven years in an Israeli jail after he got “lost in Egypt’s Sinai desert” has returned home, local daily Al-Watan reported on Saturday.

Abdulrahman al-Atwi arrived in Riyadh on Thursday from the United States to where he was deported by Israel several months ago, the newspaper said, adding that it met him at his lawyer’s residence in the Saudi capital.

But he “did not say a word,” the newspaper said.

Atwi’s lawyer Kateb al-Shimmari said that his client returned through the United States as there were no diplomatic links between the Muslim kingdom and Israel.

He said that Atwi’s deportation was arranged through the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The newspaper also quoted Atwi’s brother, Musa, as saying the Saudi authorities facilitated the return of his brother who entered the kingdom without being questioned at the airport.

Al-Watan did not say what charges had been filed against Atwi in Israel.

In 2005, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom was working to secure the release of Atwi, who according to press reports at the time had infiltrated from Jordan to attack Israeli targets.