Egyptians Cross Into Sinai in Prisoner Swap With Israel

Posted October 27th, 2011 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Israel is transferring 25 Egyptian prisoners to the Sinai in a swap for an Israeli-American man held in Egypt on spy charges.

Witnesses say the Egyptians were being transported across the Taba border crossing Thursday.

Initial reports said Egyptian authorities were taking the Israeli-American, Ilan Grapel, to the Taba crossing for his handover to Israel.

But Israeli media later reported that Grapel was to be flown from Cairo to Tel Aviv before his expected return to the United States.

Grapel apparently entered Egypt in January. In June, Egyptian authorities accused him of being an agent for Israel's Mossad intelligence service. Egypt said Grapel engaged in espionage and incitement activities in connection to the anti-government protests that led to the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Israel denied the charges and said Grapel had no ties to Israeli or U.S. intelligence services.