Egypt swaps alleged Israeli spy for 25 prisoners

Twenty-five Egyptians, recently released from an Israeli prison, arrived in the Egyptian city of Taba on Thursday, having been swapped with the alleged Israeli spy Ilan Grapel. The former prisoners had been held in the Ela Prison in Beersheba, southern Israel.

As soon as Grapel arrived in Taba at noon, an Israeli officer received him and sent a signal to start the swap.

At the Taba border crossing journalists clashed with security services who had forbidden them from taking pictures of the Egyptian prisoners, yet allowed certain satellite channels to film them.

A security source said the journalists did not have permits.

Meanwhile, South Sinai tribes called for protests to demand the release of the remaining Egyptian prisoners in Israel, threatening to kidnap Israelis for that purpose.

Military expert Sameh Seif al-Yazal said the swap deal includes providing Egypt with F16 fighter planes, while the Israeli HaYom newspaper said it includes the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy imprisoned in the USA, in return for Israel temporarily suspending settlements in the West Bank.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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