(photo credit: Channel 10 News)
The US increased pressure on Egypt by threatening to reduce aid to to the
country unless Cairo released accused Israeli spy Ilan Grapel who was arrested
in June, according to Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm on Monday.
paper quoted Egyptian security expert Hamdi Bekheit as saying Israel was behind
the move by the US in a bid to pressure Egypt to reduce its demands regarding an
incident in which five Egyptian soldiers were killed following terror attacks
ten days ago near the border with Sinai.
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.