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Egyptian Protest: More Terrorists for Grapel

Families of Egyptian prisoners are calling for a million-man protest to demand the release of terrorists for Ilan Grapel.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/25/2011, 8:28 AM

Israel has agreed to release 28 prisoners out of the 81 Egyptians in its jails for alleged Israeli spy, Ilan Grapel.

Israel has stated that none of the prisoners are terrorists, but an Egyptian newspaper reported that some of the prisoners to be released were arrested for planning to carry out terrorist attacks.

Families of Egyptian prisoners in Israel have staged a demonstration before the North Sinai Security Directorate, protesting against the deal made by the Foreign Ministry for including only 28 out of the 81 Egyptians detained in Israeli prisons.

Khaled Arafat, founder of the Karama Party in Sinai, told an Egyptian newspaper, “The Palestinians swapped Shalit with 1027 prisoners and we are satisfied with [only] 28 prisoners?”

Mahmoud Saeed, head of the Egyptian Campaign to Release Egyptian Prisoners, called for a massive demonstration in Tahrir Square to demand that all Egyptian prisoners, including terrorists, be freed for Grapel.

Grapel is an American citizen with dual US/Israeli citizenship who moved to Israel to serve in the IDF and then traveled throughout several Middle East countries for pro-Arab causes. He was in the midst of university studies in the United States when he traveled to Egypt during the Arab Spring uprising and was arrested for allegedly spying fort Israel.

His public appearance in Cairo in an IDF uniform made it extremely unlikely that he is a spy, and he has been termed an anarchist by National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari.

It is not clear why Israel, and not the United States, is releasing prisoners in return for Grapel.

American officials unsuccessfully tried to pressure Egypt into freeing Grapel shortly after his arrest.

Grapel, who has been in custody since 12 June, is accused of being an agent of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and of sowing sectarian strife and chaos in Egypt during the uprising which ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.