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Egyptian prisoners leave Israel jail ahead of swap

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Twenty-five Egyptians have left a jail in southern Israel and are being bused to the border with Egypt ahead of a prisoners swap that is to free a U.S.-Israeli citizen held in Cairo.

U.S.-born Ilan Grapel, 27, was volunteering at a legal aid group in Cairo when he was arrested June 12 and accused of spying for Israel during the grassroots revolt that overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Israel denied the allegations, as did Grapel’s friends and relatives.

Grapel is scheduled to board a plane in Cairo later Thursday and fly to Israel. The Egyptian prisoners are to cross into Egypt through a land crossings with Israel.

Israel says they are not militants and that most were involved in smuggling contraband and people into Israel.

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