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Ilan Grapel in Egypt
Photo: Lior Yado
Taba border crossing
Photo: Lior Yado
Grapel may be released Monday or Tuesday
Dual US-Israeli national charged with espionage likely to be released from Egyptian jail in exchange for 81 prisoners in backdrop of Shalit deal

Ilan Grapel, a dual US-Israeli national who is held in Cairo on espionage charges, will likely be released on Monday or Tuesday via the Taba border crossing to Eilat, Egyptian sources said.

 

On Sunday, Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram reported that Grapel will be released in exchange for 81 Egyptian prisoners as part of a deal between Jerusalem and Cairo.

 

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According to the paper, the deal for Grapel's release was inspired by the success of the Egyptian mediation between Israel and Hamas on the Gilad Shalit issue and Israel's apology over the deaths of five Egyptian officers on the border.

 

Grapel, who was arrested last June, was charged with incitement and espionage last Tuesday. He was also accused of encouraging locals to burn government buildings.

 

Grapel immigrated to Israel from the US and served as a lone soldier in the Paratroopers' 101 Battalion. He enlisted in the IDF in March 2005 and was injured during the Second Lebanon War. He had been traveling in Egypt at the time of the popular revolution. Local media claimed Grapel was a Mossad agent.

 

Earlier this month, a senior Egyptian element admitted that Grapel was not a spy.

 

 

 

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