Accelerated negotiations are underway between Israel and Egypt to bring about the release of Israeli citizen Uda Tarabin, who has been in an Egyptian jail for years on suspicion of spying for Israel, according to a Sunday report in the widely-read Egyptian newspaper As-Sabach. The newspaper says Egypt is demanding the release of 67 Sinai Bedouin held in Israeli prisons and that the sides are hoping that the exchange will be finalized by this weekend's Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.
The paper said Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara is heading the Israeli side in the negotiations. Interviewed on Arutz Sheva's Hebrew journal, the Likud Knesset member refused to confirm or deny details of the report, citing the sensitivity of the negotiations. He also denied talking to the newspaper, which said the Egyptian side was headed by Adel Al-Samouli, an opposition leader cited as a major opponent to normalization of relations with Israel. Al-Samouli said intense negotiations have been taking place for the last two months, including talks in Paris last month.