Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacted publicly Tuesday morning to the arrest in Egypt of Ilan Grapel and denied emphatically that the man is a spy.
“Speaking with absolute knowledge,” he told IDF Radio, “this is a student with no connection to the Israeli intelligence establishment. This is a mistake. The Egyptians have received all the clarifications and I hope the story will end soon,” he said.
Egypt is acting “strangely,” the Foreign Minister added. “We gave them all of the necessary clarifications and information. When such mistakes occur on our side we take care to correct them quickly, and they too understand that this affair should be ended posthaste.”
The minister expressed hope that Grapel would be released in a few days’ time.
Israel has not issued a formal reaction to Grapel’s arrest but diplomatic sources called the spy allegations “nonsense.”