Saturday Jun 25, 201102:35 PM GMT
Egypt renews detention of Israel spy
Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:37PM
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Suspected Israeli spy Ilan Chaim Grapel in Israeli military uniform
Egypt security authorities have announced that they plans to keep an American-born suspected Israeli spy in custody for further investigation.

The official says 27-year-old Ilan Grapel will spend at least two weeks in detention pending further investigation, AP reported on Saturday.

Grapel was arrested in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on June 12th.

Egyptian newspapers have widely published pictures of Grapel in Israeli military uniform.

Two days after his arrest, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, strongly denied he was a spy.

Egyptian news reports say Grapel arrived in Egypt on January 25th, the same day that mass protests erupted against the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

MENA news agency said he posed as a foreign correspondent to cover the 18 straight days of demonstrations that toppled Mubarak.

He is accused of collecting information about the developments in Egypt. Judicial sources say he is an Israeli intelligence officer.

He is also accused of inciting sectarian tension among the youths on the streets of the Egyptian capital and encouraging them to clash with the army.

The detention comes despite the US mounting pressure on Egypt to release the Israeli man.

Congressman Gary Ackerman who is a member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee has entered negotiations with Egyptian officials on the case.

Ackerman says the accusations against Grapel, are false, and has called on Egyptian authorities to release him.

Relations between Israel and Egypt have been tense since a popular revolution swept former dictator president Hosni Mubarak from power in February.

Under the US-backed Mubarak regime, Egypt consistently served Tel Aviv's interests in the region.

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