Egypt Arrests Israeli Journalist Trying to Sneak Across Border

Yotam Feldman was working on report about African migrants for Channel 10 while on leave from Haaretz.

Egyptian security forces have arrested Yotam Feldman, a reporter for a number of publications including Haaretz, as he tried to sneak across the porous Israel-Egypt border with African migrants trying to reach Israel.

Feldman was not working for Haaretz at the time and was preparing a report for Israel's Channel 10 television at the time of his arrest.

The broadcaster told Haaretz that Feldman had been working on a news investigation on illegal immigration.

Feldman's father, Avigdor, told Haaretz that he understood his son had traveled to Egypt on a press assignment and that he had had no contact with him since his departure.

Haaretz said in a statement: "Yotam Feldman requested an unpaid 10-day vacation from Haaretz in order to pursue projects unrelated to his work at the newspaper. To the best of our knowledge, Feldman was working on a report for another media outlet. We hope for and expect his safe return soon."

The Israel Defense Forces said it was trying to secure Feldman's release.

An Egyptian security official, who could not confirm the journalist's identity, said the Israeli had no identification papers and no money but told his investigators he was reporting on African migrants sneaking into Israel from Egypt.

A medical official in the Egyptian city of Rafah said the 30-year-old Israeli had injured his hand on a barbed wire fence as he tried to cross the border.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the arrest.

Smugglers aid hundreds of African migrants to cross into Israel every year from Egypt.