TEL AVIV (Jun. 13)
Seven Israeli Arabs, most of them fishermen, have been arrested on charges of spying for Egyptian intelligence, it was announced here today by a police spokesman. The spokesman said that one of the suspects, identified only as Sabage, committed suicide at the Acre police station after telling police about the group’s espionage activities and leaving a letter to David Golomb, son of Eliahu Golomb, former chief of Haganah, the Jewish pre-State defense organization. The contents of the letter were not disclosed.
Sabage had told police that he and the other six Israeli Arabs who were remanded by a magistrate for two weeks, had contacted Egyptian intelligence officers at sea while on “fishing” trips opposite the Egyptian-held city of Gaza. He said that the group went out on trawlers and pretended to fish as far south as possible. When they were opposite Gaza, Sabage said, according to police, that they signaled to shore and were met by the Egyptian officers who came out on a motor launch. They were paid by the Egyptians for the material that they furnished and were given further assignments, Gabage said.
Police said that Sabage hanged himself in his cell with a special surgical belt he wore. His family had been friendly with the Golomb family and Sabage’s father had even aided in the landing of illegal Jewish immigrants during the British Mandate. During the War of Liberation, while Sabage’s father remained in Israel, the son went with his mother to the Gaza Strip but later returned to Israel along with other Arabs who were reunited with their families in Israel.