October 28, 2011
NET CITY MEDIA REPORTS - Egypt on Thursday released an American-Israeli citizen as part of a prisoner swap deal with Israel.
Ilan Grapel had been in Egyptian jail since June for allegedly spying for Israel. In return, Egypt received 25 of its citizens, who had been held in Israeli prisons.
The prisoner swap deal is the result of U.S. mediation - an agreement, which removed strained relations between the U.S. and Egypt.
The move is also likely to allay relations between Israel and Egypt, who have been at odds since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. Their relations are also on loggerheads over Egyptian protesters' attack on Israeli embassy - an incident in which Israeli troops killed five Egyptian officers.
Upon release, the 27-year-old Grapel flew to Israel and was welcomed by his mother at Ben Gurion International Airport. U.S. Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) and U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro also welcomed Grapel's release.
Grapel was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Thursday and would leave for the U.S. on Friday.