Israel, Egypt preparing for Ilan Grapel release on Thursday
Al-Ahram reports that heavy security preparations are underway in the Taba region; report also says Egypt denied request to include Israeli Bedouin Odeh Tarabin in exchange deal.
Israeli-American law student Ilan Grapel will be released on Thursday at 9 A.M. at the Taba crossing on the Israel-Egypt border, the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Grapel will be brought to the crossing in a vehicle with civilian license plates. Heavy security preparations are reportedly underway in the Taba region ahead of Grapel's release.
Grapel been in jail in Egypt since June 12 on spying allegations that were late reduced to incitement.
On Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet unanimously approved an agreement for the release of Grapel in exchange for the release 22 Egyptian prisoners, most of them Bedouin from the Sinai jailed for smuggling drugs or weapons.
None of the Egpytians being freed was convicted of killing Israelis; the maximum sentence was about 10 years.
The Al-Ahram report mentioned the case of Odeh Tarabin, an Israeli Bedouin who has been imprisoned in Egypt for the past 11 years on spying allegations. The report said that Israel asked that Tarabin be included in the exchange but that Egypt turned down the request.
Al-Ahram also reported that Israel asked for talks to be held on the release of others convicted of spying for Israel but that the request was firmly denied.