'US never put pressure on Egypt to release Grapel'
LAST UPDATED: 08/30/2011 10:27
'Al-Ahram': Cairo and Jerusalem not in talks over prisoner-swap deal, to include Sinai Beduin, for the release of the accused Israeli spy.
Ilan Grapel in an interview to Channel 10 in 2006 Photo: Channel 10 News
The US has not been putting pressure on Egypt to release the accused Israeli spy, Ilan Grapel, Egyptian semi-official Al-Ahram quoted an "Egyptian security official" as saying on Tuesday.
On Monday, Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm
said that the US had threatened to reduce aid to Egypt unless Cairo
released the alleged Israeli spy, a dual US-Israeli citizen who was arrested in Egypt in June on charges of espionage for the Mossad.
'US to reduce Egypt aid unless accused spy Grapel freed'
'Egypt ambassador: No developments in Grapel case'
Al-Ahram also said that Cairo and Jerusalem never discussed formulating a prisoner-swap deal for securing Grapel's release, which the report claimed would involve freeing a number of Egyptian Beduin from Sinai serving "long sentences in Israeli prisons."
According to the source Cairo informed both Washington and Jerusalem that "Grapel is in the hands of the Egyptian judiciary."
Earlier in the month, Egyptian
Ambassador to Israel Yasser Rida said there had been no new developments in
Grapel’s case, Israel Radio reported.
Grapel, the ambassador said at a
UAL-Ta’al Iftar dinner, is in “good hands,” according to the report. The case,
he added, is currently in the Egyptian legal system, and said he trusts it to
properly deal with the matter.
Rida also told Israel Radio on Monday
there have been no new developments.
Grapel was arrested at his downtown
Cairo hotel by Egyptian state security officers in June on suspicion of working
for Israeli intelligence to foment sectarian strife and gather intelligence on
The Emory University Law student, and dual
Israeli- American citizen, traveled to Egypt this summer as part of his work for
a charity helping African refugees.
His family, friends and the Israeli
government have categorically denied he was working as a spy in Egypt.
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