Egypt considers releasing alleged Israeli spy for Egyptian prisoners

Ahram Online, Sunday 16 Oct 2011

Israel offers spy-swap deal, says security source

Egypt is considering releasing alleged Israeli spy Ilan Grapel to Israel in exchange for 81 Egyptians detained in Israel.

Grapel, a US-Israeli joint national, has been detained since 12 June for allegedly spying for Israel and attempting to incite sectarian strife in the country during the 18-day revolt against ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

A security source told Ahram Online that Egypt and Israel have almost finalised a deal in which Israel releases all of its Egyptian detainees in return for Egypt’s release of Grapel. According to the source, there are 81 Egyptians currently detained in Israel, including three children.

According to the source, 32 of those detained have not yet been sentenced and are accused of a variety of crimes, while the rest are serving various sentences for trying to illegally cross into the country, as well as for murder charges, drug trafficking, illegal residency and holding unlicensed weapons.

The three children, who are currently being held by Israeli authorities, are accused of illegally entering the country and threatening Israeli national security. The three are under 14 years of age.

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