Israel once again has approved a prisoner swap, but this week it is for 25 Egyptians in return for one American-Israeli, Ilan Grapel. Grapel was captured four months ago during the height of Egypt's uprising, before President Mubarak was removed from office. Ilan Grapel interned for Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) in 2002, was a law student in Atlanta and was interested in Egyptian culture. He was in Cairo as a volunteer at a legal aid group when he was arrested. He denied the allegations of espionage, as did his family and friends. Charges were later downgraded.
Grapel has an Israeli background and did not hide that information when he entered Egypt. He entered the country using his real name. Grapel will be returned to Israeli soil on Thursday, October 27th.
It is believed that the 25 Egyptians to be released are primarily smugglers, working on the borders between Israel and Egypt, sneaking into Israel with contraband. Some prisoners were seeking asylum or work. None of them were militants.