Egypt ransoms jailed Israeli-American

Monday, October 03, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Egypt this week agreed to finally released jailed US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel after the Obama Administration agreed to increase political and financial support to the new regime in Cairo.

Grapel was arrested in early June on charges of spying for Israel and/or the US while visiting friends in Cairo. He was also accused of instigating riots following the toppling of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Friends and family, and not a few average Egyptians, insisted the charges were bogus. Grapel did serve in the Israeli army, but was always described as a "dove" politically, and has an intense love of Arabic culture. Grapel is fluent in Arabic, and stated that he was in Egypt both to work with aid organizations and further study the local culture.

Egypt repeately refused requests from Washington to free Grapel. Cairo suddenly changed its mind this week when Obama made his promise of more money and political backing for the now-beleagured temporary military rulers.

US congressional leaders had been threatening to cut of American aid if Egypt did not soon advance democratic elections, and again if the Muslim Brotherhood were to win those elections.

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