Tinker tailor soldier spy? Wannabe Palestinian Israeli caught in Egypt

Published January 3rd, 2013 - 09:23 GMT
Andrew Pshenichnikov.
Andrew Pshenichnikov.

Andrew Pschenichnikov was the Israeli Jew who captured the hearts of the Arab world when, in May this year, he was arrested for trying to become a Palestinian citizen.

The Russian-born Israeli moved to Dheisheh Refugee Camp, just outside Bethlehem in the West Bank but not before he was hauled into court by the Israeli police.

He claimed at the time that he didn't recognize Israel as a legitmate authority. Since then, not much has been heard of the 24-year-old, until he turned up miles south of Bethlehem on the Egyptian border this week.

The bizarre case first came to light when a man was arrested on Monday in Taba, a small Egyptian town touching the southern edges of both Jordan and Israel. 

The charges were 'espionage' and police began investigating. However, the plot thickened when, on Wednesday, Egyptian authorities named the man in their care as none other than Andrew Pshenichnikov.

There is no doubt that Pshenichnikov has links to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as his service there was mandatory but many around the region are questioning whether this left-wing anti-patriot can really be an agent of Mossad.

Now there is speculation that the Palestinian-wannabe was heading to Gaza rather than Egypt, and that President Morsi's negotiations with Israel to end the most recent Gaza war might have more to do with it than any spying on Andrew's part.

What do you make of the latest revelations? Could Andrew be working for the Mossad? Or is there more to the story? Tell us your thoughts.

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