Israeli ambassador: Grapel prisoner swap nearly finalized

Negotiations between Egypt and Israel over swapping alleged spy Ilan Grapel for Egyptian prisoners in Israel are in their final stages, said Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Yitzhak Levanon on Sunday.

Levanon told an Israeli news website that Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Bedouin man who has spent the past 11 years in prison for spying for Israel, will be included in the swap deal.
Levanon said Israel will re-open its embassy in Cairo soon, having relocated after the embassy in Giza was stormed on 9 September in the wake of a deadly Israeli border raid.
Egypt's state-run news agency MENA reported on Saturday that swap deal was in its final stages. It said Grapel will be released in return for 16 Egyptian adults and three minors held in Israeli prisons.
The Egyptian authorities arrested Grapel, who holds a dual Israeli-American citizenship, on 12 June and accused him of being a Mossad spy. Israel has denied the charge.
According to Egypt's public prosecution investigators, Grapel sent images of the 25 January revolution and information on the armed forces to an Israeli Mossad officer using the internet.
Grapel is currently detained pending investigation and has not yet faced trial.
A US Embassy official earlier said that Grapel was a correspondent for foreign newspapers during the revolution.

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