Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ouda Tarabin may be released this week in prisoner swap

From YNet:
The al-Muhit Arab website reported Thursday that Israel and Egypt will complete a prisoner exchange deal as part of which 63 Egyptian prisoners will be traded off in exchange for Israeli citizen Ouda Tarabin by April 25.

The report stated that the prisoners' relatives were promised that the deal will go through by April 25 – the day Egypt marks as Sinai liberation day.

Based on the same promise, members of the Sinai Multinational Force recently captured by Bedouins were freed and a Central Sinai road has been reopened. The report could not be confirmed.

Other Egyptian media outlets reported that an Israeli envoy arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for a brief visit. During a meeting with Egyptian officials, the parties discussed the latest developments in the prisoners issue, including the Ouda Tarabin deal.

Egyptian media reported many times of a possible agreement for Tarabin's release over the past few years.

Several weeks ago, the al-Ahram newspaper reported that a high-level Israeli delegation discussed the issue with Egyptian officials in Cairo.

Tarabin has been held in Egypt on espionage charges since 2000.
Egyptian media are reporting anywhere between 56 and 65 prisoners being released by Israel.

Last year when Ilan Grapel was released there was much speculation that a Tarabin deal was imminent as well. Last month there was renewed rumors that a Tarabin deal was nearing completion.