Egypt, Israel Reach Deal On Prisoners Exchange


A U.S.-Israeli citizen detained in Egypt on spy suspicions since June will be released soon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement Monday. Ilan Grapel was arrested in Cairo on June 12 and has been held without charge since. Egypt’s state TV confirmed that a deal was reached and said the swap would be carried out on Thursday.

Grapel, 27, was suspected by Egyptian officials of spying for Israel during the height of Egypt’s uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. Israel and his relatives in the U.S. denied Grapel was a spy.

According to the AP, the Israeli government will convene a special Security Cabinet meeting Tuesday to approve the deal. “In the framework of Israel and Egyptian efforts and with the help of the United States, Egypt has agreed to release Ilan Grapel. Israel has agreed to release 25 Egyptian prisoners,” the statement said.

Among the 25 Egyptian prisoners to be exchanged will be three teenagers from the Sinai Peninsula, according to Egyptian security officials.

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