Egypt denied, on Tuesday, reports of talks between the Cairo government and Israel on the release of American-Israeli Ilan Grapel, who has been held for months on suspicion of spying for Israel, according to the semi-official Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. The newspaper said Israel agreed, a few days ago, to release Egyptians it is holding, including a number of Bedouin tribesmen.
A source said no deal is being developed to exchange prisoners. The source also denied a Monday report in Al-Masri Al-Yaum that the United States and Israel are pressuring Egypt to release Grapel, who tried asked, unsuccessfully, to meet with Israel's ambassador and relay a letter to his family a few weeks ago. He reportedly went on a three-day hunger strike and threatened suicide.