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Cyprus arrests 2 Israelis

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JERUSALEM, Nov. 8 (JTA) – Two Israelis arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of spying were not working for Israel, officials in Nicosia said. A statement released by the Justice Ministry in Cyprus said no proof had been found linking Israel to the two men, Udi Argov, 27, and Yigal Damari, 49. The two were arrested Saturday after police raided the apartment they were staying in near the city of Larnaca. Police confiscated photographic, communications and recording equipment from the apartment, located in a coastal village adjacent to a military installation. According to reports, the two are suspected of spying on Cypriot military operations. A senior official in the Cypriot Embassy in Israel did not rule out the possibility that the two may have been gathering information on behalf of Turkey, which has occupied the northern third of Cyrpus since a 1974 invasion. The closer ties Israel has been forging with Turkey has been a source of concern in Cyprus. The arrests came only days after Israeli President Ezer Weizman visited Cyprus to deliver a message of assurance that Israel’s ties with Ankara would not involve Cyprus.

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