JERUSALEM: Egypt released Sunday an Israeli journalist arrested a week ago trying to cross the border illegally with an African migrant, an Israeli official said.
Israeli journalist Yotam Feldman was released following an intervention by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, said the Israeli official, who asked not to be named.
Yotam Feldman arrived back in Israel early Monday. He told Israeli media that he was glad to have experienced the dangers that the migrants endure.
Feldman, a reporter for the Haaretz daily, had been sent by Israel s Channel 10 television to report on migrants trying to illegally cross into Israel, said the official.
Feldman and a Ghanian man were arrested on March 14 along a route used by smugglers who help African migrants into Israel, and he was questioned by Egyptian military prosecutors who had doubts about his story, an Egyptian security source said earlier in the week.
The 250-kilometer border between the two countries has become a significant channel for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers, prompting Israel to ask Egypt to step up controls.
Egypt has tightened control over the border, but has drawn criticism from human rights watchdogs for its readiness to use force to prevent illegal crossings.
Its police have killed dozens of African migrants in the past few years as they tried to cross the border.
The Israeli government earlier this month gave final approval for the construction of a barrier along the border in a bid to curb the entry of illegal immigrants. -Agencies.