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Report: Ilan Grapel Threatened Suicide in Egyptian Jail

US-Israel Ilan Grapel, arrested in Egypt on charges of spying in the anti-Mubarak uprising, threatened suicide, a Kuwaiti paper reports.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/14/2011, 3:19 PM

American-Israeli Ilan Grapel, arrested in Egypt on charges of spying and subversion in anti-government protests, threatened suicide if he is not allowed to meet with Israeli Ambassador Yitzchak Levanon, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jirida reported Sunday.

After being treated politely following his arrest three months ago, the Egyptian provisional military regime has become increasingly anti-American and anti-Israeli. The Kuwaiti newspaper stated that authorities have refused to allow Grapel to write his family, but New York’s Bayside Patch website said he spoke with his family early last week.

A hunger strike by Grapel at the beginning of the month failed to sway Egyptian authorities, who claim that he is an agent for the Mossad and encouraged Egyptians to rebel.

Grapel spent most of his life in the United States but moved to Israel temporarily in order to enlist in the IDF. He spoke Arabic and was active in pro-Arab rallies, frequently traveling to Arab countries. He travelled to Egypt in May on a service trip organized by New York’s Emory University, where he is a student, according to Bayside Patch

His picture was published in Cairo in a full-fledged IDF uniform, but friends have claimed this is simply his Facebook picture. This public wearing of an IDF uniform, however, made it seem very improbable that he was a Mossad agent, but the military regime in Cairo saw him as an instigator and arrested him.

He initially enjoyed phone calls and letters with his family and contact with American officials, but his continued stay in prison has left him more isolated as approaches his 28th birthday Wednesday.