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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Conflicting reports in Egyptian media on Grapel deal

From JPost:

US Defense Secretary was making his way to Cairo on Tuesday in attempts to help free imprisoned US-Israeli Ilan Grapel, who was being held in Egypt on charges of espionage for Israel, AFP reported.

Speaking to the press in Tel Aviv on Monday, Panetta failed to confirm reports that Grapel would be released in the coming days, or during the US defense secretary's visit to Cairo.

Egyptian media sources speculated Tuesday that Israel may release a number of Egyptian prisoners in exchange for the release of Grapel, A-Shams reported, but that report could not be confirmed.
Al Masry al-Youm quotes Egypt's El Shorouk as confirming that there were negotiations on a prisoner swap with Israel, as well as demands by an Islamist group that the US release the "blind sheikh" terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks as well as in planning numerous other attacks in the US.

However, the newspaper also quoted Egypt's Dostour newspaper quoted other Egyptian sources as denying that there was any plan to release Grapel and that the rumors of a swap were unfounded.