High Court Rejects Motions Against Grapel Deal
The High Court rejected Wednesday evening motions against the deal with Egypt for freeing Israeli anarchist Ilan Grapel, who was arrested when he took part in the Tahrir Square uprising in Egypt. In return for Grapel, Israel will free 21 weapons and drug smugglers.
The court, which leans heavily to the political left, is expected to reject the motions, and Grapel is expected to be freed Thursday.
The motions were filed by the Our Land of Israel movement and the Almagor terror victims' advocacy group, as well as MK Michael Ben Ari of the National Union.
They argued in part that the National Security Council is not qualified to make the decision to release convicted prisoners and that such a decision, which is made between two states, must be subject to the approval of the entire government.
MK Ben Ari told the court that half of the Egyptians being freed are weapons smugglers and therefore qualify as terrorists. He also asked why Bedouin Israel Auda Tarabin, who has been held in an Egyptian prison for 11 years on espionage charges, is not included in the deal. "If his name were not Auda Tarabin but Iddo Rabin, would he have received different treatment?", asked Ben Ari.
Ben Ari told Arutz Sheva that in his view, a good deal would involve handing over Grapel to the United States, since he is also a US citizen, and receiving Jonathan Pollard. "We will release Grapel and give him to the Americans," he said with a bitter smile. "To that deal, I agree."