Israeli embassy officials meet with alleged spy


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Diplomats from the Israeli embassy in Egypt met with a dual U.S.-Israel citizen who is being held on charges of being a spy for Israel.

The diplomats met Tuesday in Cairo with Ilan Grapel, who was arrested at his hotel in central Cairo on Sunday. Grapel was ordered detained for 15 days while he is investigated for allegedly "spying on Egypt with the aim of damaging its economic and political interests," Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported.

A statement issued Tuesday afternoon by Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Grapel is in good condition and that Israel is working for his release.

Grapel, a New Yorker who moved to Israel after his graduation from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, served as a paratrooper during the Second Lebanon War and was wounded in southern Lebanon in August 2006, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Egyptian media are reporting that he planned to go from Egypt to a rebel camp in Libya.

Friends of Grapel’s told The Jerusalem Post that Grapel was an Arabist and liked spending time in Egypt. His parents have denied that their son has any ties to the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

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