'US to give Egypt F-16 fighter jet in Grapel deal'

Ma'an news agency report: US participated in negotiations, worked to sweeten deal over dual US-Israeli citizen Grapel, held on spying charges.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 27, 2011 10:17
1 minute read.
F-16 fighter jet in flight

F-16 Fighter Jet 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The United States is set to give Egypt an F-16 fighter jet as part of the deal to release dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel, Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported Thursday.

Ma'an quoted Egyptian military expert General Sameh Sayf al-Yazal as saying that the United States was called into the negotiations to help Egypt exact the best possible deal for Grapel's release.

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According to the report, Israel refused to release all 81 Egyptian prisoners in Israel for a deal that included both Grapel and Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Beduin who, like Grapel, is being held in Egypt on spying charges.

Grapel is expected to be released on Thursday after five months in prison in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners. He is expected to fly from Cairo to Ben Gurion airport at 5 p.m., and meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before setting on his way.

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