Sources claimed the German official has come to Egypt in order to renew negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a swap deal, including the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit. According to the report, this will only be done after a breakthrough will be reached regarding the pending release of Ilan Grapel, currently detained in Egypt for alleged espionage.
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Grapel is expected to be handed over to United States' Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during his visit to Cairo on Tuesday.
Panetta, who is visiting Israel for the first time since he assumed the role of US defense secretary, addressed Monday the issue of Ilan Grapel's incarceration in Egypt. He said he could not address Grapel's release until he arrives in Egypt but noted that he hoped the dual US-Israeli citizen will be released soon.
According to a report by the London-based al-Hayat newspaper in September, Israel has agreed to release all of the female Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel as well as Arab-Israeli security prisoners.
The report further stated that Israel has also reduced the number of prisoners it refuses to release, from 120 to 40. Jerusalem is also reportedly willing to reduce the number of prisoners it refuses to allow back into the West Bank.
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