JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli citizen who infiltrated into Egypt was sentenced by an Egyptian court to two years in prison.
Andrei Pshenichnikov, a Soviet emigre who previously lived in the Palestinian Authority and whose request for Palestinian citizenship was denied, was not carrying a passport when he entered Egypt through the Sinai two months ago. Egyptian authorities arrested the 24-year-old from Bat Yam as he took photographs of Egyptian security buildings, according to Reuters.
Two weeks ago, a court in Sharm el-Sheik ordered Pshenichnikov deported back to Israel. But the public prosecutor appealed and a judge in a court in the Nuweiba area of Sinai on Monday sentenced him to the prison term.
Pshenichnikov’s family had obtained his passport to show the judge in order to procure his release.
Pshenichnikov served in the Israel Defense Forces, including an extra 18 months as a career soldier. He emigrated from the former Soviet Union at the age of 13.