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Dad Says Ilan Grapel Is No Spy

In a conversation with Haaretz on Monday, the father of suspected Israeli spy Ilan Grapel said he hoped a deal between Israel and Egypt to secure his son’s release had in fact been signed, saying that he had not been given official word by Israeli officials.

Earlier Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office indicated that Israel and Egypt reached a prisoner exchange deal that would secure the release of the suspected Israeli spy, with the cabinet set to meet on Tuesday to give the deal a final seal of approval.

Grapel, who holds both Israeli and American citizenships, has been held in Egypt since June 12.

Grapel was first charged with espionage, but the charges were later changed to incitement, insurrection, and damaging a public building during the uprising that took place in Egypt earlier this year.

“We’ve yet to receive any word on the deal, only from the media and from the congressman who had been working for Ilan from [the United States],” Daniel Grapel told Haaretz on Monday, saying: “Until we see him these bizarre story will continue.”

Israeli officials later indicated that the Grapel family was indeed updated on the deal.

“It’s been going on for 4 months, anyone who knows Ilan in Israel knows that these spying stories aren’t even funny, it’s beyond ridiculous,” he said.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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