Report: Egypt May Release Israeli
An official Egyptian news agency has reported that the country’s temporary government is considering releasing Ilan Grapel, a young American-Israeli man detained for months and accused of spying for Israel.
The MENA news agency said the move was being considered following United States intervention. The Obama administration has indicated that it will increase its political and financial support for Egypt if Grapel is freed, the report stated.
Two weeks ago, a court in Cairo decided to extend Grapel’s remand by another 45 days. The court refused a request from U.S. representatives to set Grapel free until his trial, expressing concern that he could attempt to flee the country.
Grapel is accused of working on behalf of the Mossad and of inciting riots following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. Grapel’s friends and family say the charges are absurd, and that Grapel was in Egypt due to his love for Arabic culture.
Many Egyptians have expressed doubt regarding the charges as well.
Since arresting Grapel, Egyptian authorities have claimed to have uncovered a Mossad cell, have arrested and released Israeli guards as they made their way across the Red Sea, and have accused Israel of plotting to use hair products to cause mass infertility.