TEL AVIV (JTA) — An Israeli held for 14 years in an Egyptian prison accused Israel’s prime minister of not doing enough to secure his release.
The prisoner, Ouda Tarabin, is a former resident of the Bedouin city of Rahat, in Israel’s Negev Desert. He was arrested in 2000 while visiting Egypt, charged with being an Israeli spy and given a 15-year prison term. In a letter addressed to Benjamin Netanyahu and shared with Israeli media, Tarabin accuses the prime minister of a lackluster effort to secure his freedom because Tarabin is an Arab.
“If I were a Jew or a Druze, the government would be fighting for me and my freedom, and I wouldn’t have been sitting in an Egyptian prison for 14 years,” the letter says, according to Ynet News. ”Mr. Prime Minister, this is the truth that everyone knows. Mr. Prime Minister, this government is a tragedy for my country, that’s supposed to be a democracy in the Middle East.”
Tarabin called on the government “to act immediately to put an end to my suffering and the suffering of my family, to engage the Egyptian government, and act quickly to ensure my release.”
There was no immediate response from the Prime Minister’s Office.