(photo credit: Channel 10 News)
Dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel will be returned to Israel at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported Wednesday morning.
RELATED:MK Hasson: Ilan Grapel treated fairly in Egyptian prison
Grapel, held in Egypt on spying charges since June, will be transferred across the Taba border near Eilat in exchange for 25 Egyptians held in Israeli prisons, according to the report.
wary of Egyptian public's response to Grapel deal'
charges Grapel with setting fire to police stations'
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) and right wing activist Baruch
Marzel on Wednesday filed a petition with the High Court against Thursday's
prisoner exchange, Army Radio reported.
"It cannot be that every time an anarchist tries to start an Arab Spring
we break Israeli law and release prisoners. I want a three-party deal
in which the Americans release Pollard, the Egyptians release Grapel,
and then we'll release these prisoners," Ben-Ari said in the report.
This most recent prisoner exchange comes just nine days after Israel and Hamas carried out a historic prisoner swap
to release captive Israeli tank gunner Gilad Schalit.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's 14-man security cabinet unanimously approved the prisoner exchange
A statement put out by the Prime Minister's Office said Israel agreed to
the Egyptian request for the release 25 Egyptian prisoners, including three
minors. While the list of the prisoners has not yet been released, they
are not believed to be security prisoners, but rather Egyptians in
Israeli jails for carrying out criminal acts such as smuggling from
Sinai into Israel.
According to the statement, Netanyahu directed the officials dealing
with the matter to make all efforts to also free Ouda Tarabin, another
Israeli citizen in Egyptian jails. Tarabin, a Beduin shepherd, has been
held for 11 years on espionage charges after illegally entering Egypt.
reported that Egypt has rejected Israel's requests and will not
release Tarabin at this time.
Tarabin's attorney, Mahmoud a-Sana
Tarabin, told Israel Radio Wednesday morning that the Israeli
authorities had hinted to Tarabin's family that there were "hidden
matters that they were quietly working on."
The lawyer added that
Odeh made just one mistake - crossing the border into Sinai to visit
his sister without a passport or identification- and he was sent to
prison for five to ten years without standing trial.
"Being a Beduin" was seemingly the only reason Tarabin had not yet been released, the lawyer opined during the interview.
According to Al Ahram,
Egyptian security in the Sinai peninsula will be very tight on Thursday
in preparation for the prisoner exchange
To prevent interference from terrorist elements in Sinai and along the
border with Israel, which operate against both the Israeli and Egyptian
governments, Grapel will reportedly be transferred to Taba in a heavily
armored security detail, which will also be used to transfer the
released Egyptians back to Cairo.
Grapel was arrested on June 12 and initially held on charges of spying
for Israel. These charges were later downgraded to incitement.