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Body of an Israeli Man Found in Egyptian Coastal Town

The body was transferred to the General Hospital in El Arish before being sent back to Israel. (Photo: AFP)

(TheBlaze/AP) -- An Egyptian security official says the decomposed body of an Israeli found on Egypt's Mediterranean coast near the Israeli and Gaza borders has been transferred to Israeli authorities.

The official says Saturday that the body had a bullet hole in it, but various Egyptian media reports say the body had been shot as many as five times.  It is unclear how exactly the man died-- some in Egypt are saying he drowned, but Israeli media is a little more skeptical, pointing to the bullet holes as the most obvious indication that there was likely something else afoot.

The Egyptian official added that it wasn't clear whether the man died in Egypt or if his body drifted from Israeli waters.  The preliminary medical report indicates the man was in his mid-thirties, and that he was shot before being thrown in the water.  Moreover, the body was fully clothed, and the man's money and license were still inside, meaning it was unlikely a violent robbery or something of the sort.

The body was found last week near the northern Sinai village of Sheikh Zuweyid. Egyptian police consider the unsolved case to be closed after returning the body to Israelis on Friday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to brief reporters.

Relations between Egypt and Israel have been tenuous since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a longtime force for stability in the Middle East.  Since Egypt's election of Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist long affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, matters have only gotten worse.  Just last week it was reported that Morsi mouthed "Amen" during a sermon calling for the destruction of the Jews and Israel.

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