Egypt Detains Brazilian Tourists Over Pro-Israel Materials, report

Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Tag Cloud

Worthy News Staff

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)– A group of Brazilian tourists was arrested in Egypt for carrying pro-Israel material, a Jewish news agency reported Thursday, May 21.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) said 24 Brazilians were detained Wednesday, May 20, in Cairo by Egyptian authorities because they were allegedly carrying leaflets in Portuguese promoting Israel’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party and encouraging Brazilian Jews to immigrate to Israel.

Yisrael Beiteinu, or Israel is Our Home, is the party of Israel’s hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who JTA said once suggested that Israel threaten to bomb Egypt’s Aswan Dam to influence policy.

Aswan Dam is part of a water project aimed to prevent the Nile river’s flooding, generate electricity and provide water for agriculture.

Troubles began when the Brazilians had just landed in Cairo on an Alitalia flight from Rome, JTA said. The customs officials reportedly searched the travelers’ 38 pieces of luggage and found brochures in 10 of the suitcases after which customs apparently informed security forces.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was negotiating with Egyptian officials about the release of the tourists whose names have not been released, said JTA, citing Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

It was unclear when and if the tourists will be deported. Egyptian officials could not immediately be reached for comment. The case was expected to be closely monitored by Israeli and Brazilian officials.

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