Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet is set to approve a prisoner exchange deal with Egypt to release suspected Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners.
The news comes after an Israeli negotiation team met Monday with suspected Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in Cairo to update him on his upcoming release from Egyptian prison where he has been held since June 12.
Attorney Yitzhak Molcho and MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), who met with Grapel at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters, reported that Grapel is in good health, and that negotiations between Egypt and Israel will continue in order to secure the release of Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Bedouin who has been held by Egypt for 11 years on charges of espionage.
According to Hasson, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu credit for “handling the sensitive situation” of round-the-clock negotiations.
Grapel was originally charged with espionage, although the charges were later changed to incitement, insurrection, and damaging a public building during the uprising that took place in Egypt earlier this year. The U.S. has been especially active in trying to secure Grapel's release during the last two months.
In a statement published by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, Israel and Egypt reached a deal to release the suspected spy, saying that Grapel is to be released in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners, including three minors.
The PM's office added that the deal was reached as a result of U.S. mediation, and that none of the prisoners to be released were linked to attacks on Israeli citizens.
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