Last updated: 19 April, 2015

Egyptian jailed for life on Israel spy charges

An Egyptian court Sunday sentenced to jail a man convicted of spying for Israel in the Sinai Peninsula where security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency, judicial officials said.

Two Israeli accomplices of the jailed Egyptian were tried in absentia and also given life terms, the officials added.

In a verdict delivered by a court in North Sinai, the three were also slapped with fines of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about $1,130 or 1,200 euros) each. In Egypt, a life sentence amounts to 25 years.

Prosecutors said the convict, Salamah Mohamed Suleiman, received money and was also given a house in Israel in return for providing his Israeli handlers with information about Egyptian security forces and jihadists in North Sinai.

Suleiman also illegally travelled to Israel five times — the first visit being in 2011 — to work out the details of his mission that intended to “harm Egypt’s national interests”, the prosecution said.

In March, an Egyptian man was sentenced to life in jail and a woman to 15 years for syping for Israel.

Their two Israeli handlers were sentenced in absentia to life in jail.

In two other cases over the past few months, an Egyptian and a Jordanian telecommunications engineer have been jailed for 10 years on similar charges.

The Egyptian military has poured troops and armour into the Sinai to quell the insurgency spearheaded by a local Islamic State group affiliate.

Sinai Province, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has staged some of the deadliest attacks against Egypt’s security forces since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.