This BBC report says the exchange shows that “Egypt is still capable of dealing with Israel on business-like terms.” Well, if your idea of “business-like terms” is snagging what was essentially a hostage on laughable espionage charges and using him as leverage to set up a disproportionate prisoner exchange in an atmosphere of antisemitic conspiracy paranoia, then, sure.
US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel has arrived in Tel Aviv after being freed by Egypt as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Israel.
Mr Grapel, who was detained in June on spying charges, flew from Cairo, accompanied by Israeli officials.
The exchange saw Israel release 25 Egyptian prisoners, who crossed by land back into their home country.
Correspondents say that despite regional turmoil, the deal shows the two countries can still do business.
Mr Grapel is expected to meet briefly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before flying to New York.
Israel and his family deny the accusations against Mr Grapel, a former soldier, saying he was working for a charity in Cairo and never sought to conceal his identity. […]
Mr Grapel was arrested on 12 June and accused of trying to stir up sectarian strife in Cairo on behalf of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.
His relatives say he made no attempt to disguise his identity, including the fact that he had served in the Israeli army during its war in Lebanon in 2006.
There is widespread scepticism in Egypt that Mr Grapel really was an Israeli spy. […]
It appears the deal to release Mr Grapel was negotiated around the same time as the Shalit exchange, says the BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Jerusalem.
It shows that Egypt is still capable of dealing with Israel on business-like terms and reminds regional rivals such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia that Cairo’s influence is real, despite the change of government, our correspondent says.