Ilan Grapel Tahrir
Ilan Grapel in Tahrir Square in a picture taken from his Facebook account.
Text size
related tags

Egyptian authorities have extended the detention of Israeli-American Ilan Grapel, who is being held on allegations of spying for Israel.

Grapel will spend 15 more days in detention.

The Egyptian attorney general's office explained that more time was needed in order to continue its investigation into Grapel's activities.

Grapel was arrested in Cairo in June. He has not been indicted.

According to reports in the Arab media, the U.S. has been in contact with Egypt, seeking Grapel's release and departure from Egypt.

An indictment would transfer the case to the court system and start a lengthy legal process. Therefore, efforts are being made for Grapel to be released before he is indicted.

Grapel's story has fallen from the headlines in Egypt as it has become evident that he is probably not the serious spy that he was described as by the Egyptian press when he was arrested.

Egypt has claimed that Grapel was a Mossad agent, and pictures of him in Israeli military attire were widely published in Egyptian papers.

Grapel has been accused of sedition and inciting Egyptians to clash with the country's interim military leadership.

Israel has denied the 27-year-old Grapel is a spy.

Grapel's family says he was spending the summer in Cairo as an intern at a legal aid group. Grapel is a law student at Emory University in Georgia.

Grapel, whose father is Israeli, grew up in the U.S. After college, Grapel moved to Israel and joined the IDF, serving as a paratrooper. He was wounded during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.