A deal has been reached between Israel and Egypt, with assistance from the United States, for the release of Ilan Grapel from Egypt in exchange for 25 Egyptians being held in Israel. Grapel is an American student from Queens who also is an Israeli citizen. He was accused of spying on Egypt for Israel 

The deal marks a positive change in the pattern of recent Israel-Egypt relations, which has been quite tense over the past months. Once the only Middle Eastern nation to establish peace with Israel, Egypt's treaty with Israel grew less stable after the fall of Hosni Mubarak's Egyptian government.

Tensions mounted last month, after a group of Egyptians stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. This anger was fueled by the killing of Egyptian officials by Israeli soldiers, who were pursuing militants accused of killing eight Israeli citizens. Though Israel apologized and claimed the killing was an accident, anger was still apparent.

Grapel had first traveled to Cairo in April, to support Egyptians protesting Mubarak's government. When captured, Egyptians used pictures of Grapel's involvement in Tahrir Square as proof that Grapel was also inciting protesters to violence. 

This deal provides new hope that these two nations can put aside their differences and reach peace once again.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/world/middleeast/deal-for-release-of-american-held-in-egypt.html