Egypt is concerned over the Egyptian public’s reaction to a deal that would
allow for the release of jailed American- Israeli law student Ilan Grapel, who
has been detained in Cairo for more than five months, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported
According to the report, former Egyptian ambassador to Israel,
Mohammed Assem, said that Egyptian public’s response to the Grapel deal may be
unpredictable in Egypt’s present state, characterized by “revolutionary anger”
since former president Hosni Mubarak was deposed in February.
'Cairo wants dozens of prisoners in exchange for Grapel'
that the Grapel case; the Hamas-Israeli deal for the release of Gilad Schalit,
mediated by Cairo, the Israeli Defense Ministry’s official apology to Egypt over
the deaths of six of its security forces on the Sinai border, and the deployment
of Egyptian troops in the Taba area – near the Israeli border – were all part of
Egypt’s secretive diplomatic efforts, which were conducted behind closed doors
to maintain Egyptian dignity.
These developments do “not mean that
relations between Egypt and Israel are rosy,” Assem said.
There have been
conflicting reports coming out of Egypt as to the details of a potential deal
between Egypt and Israel, with Al-Ahram
reporting that Israel is prepared to
release 25 Egyptian prisoners, and Al-Masry Al- Youm
quoting “informed sources”
as saying the number may be as high as 81.
The latter paper also claimed
that the negotiations had entered their final phase.