News / Middle East

    Egypt Frees Israeli-American Held as 'Spy'

    In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office Ilan Grapel (l) is greeted in Jerusalem by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  Oct. 27, 2011
    In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office Ilan Grapel (l) is greeted in Jerusalem by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Oct. 27, 2011

    Egypt and Israel have completed the release of 25 Egyptians for an Israeli-American man held in Egypt on allegations of spying.

    Freed Israeli-American Ilan Grapel was flown from Cairo to Tel Aviv on Thursday shortly after Israel transferred the 25 Egyptians at the Taba border crossing to the Sinai.  The Egyptians had been imprisoned in Israel for a variety of criminal offenses.

    The U.S. State Department welcomed the release of Grapel and thanked the governments of Egypt and Israel for their roles in reuniting him with his family.

    Grapel apparently entered Egypt in January.  In June, Egyptian authorities accused him of being an agent for Israel's Mossad intelligence service.  

    Egypt said Grapel engaged in espionage and incitement activities in connection to the anti-government protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

    Israel denied the charges and said Grapel had no ties to Israeli or U.S. intelligence services.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

     

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