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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday brushed off Egyptian claims that an American-Israeli dual national arrested over the weekend on charges of espionage against Egypt was a spy, or connected to any Israeli intelligence service.
"Grapel has no connection to intelligence apparatus, not in Israel, the U.S., or Mars," Lieberman said in an interview with Army Radio's morning news program, “It's All Talk.”
Speaking with host Razi Barkai, the Foreign Minister said that Ilan Grapel, 27, “had no connection whatsoever with any intelligence service; this is a student who may be a bit odd or irresponsible.”
New York-born Grapel holds Israeli citizenship, and – according to Cairo officials – was visiting Egypt in February during the demonstrations to overthrow the Mubarak government. Grapel's family, however, hotly disputed the contention, saying that he only arrived at the beginning of May.