US releases Israeli spy

Jonathan Pollard released from prison after serving 30 years for spying on behalf of Israel

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Israeli Communications Minister Limor Livnat (LEFT) visits with convicted spy Jonathan Pollard (Right) on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1997, at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C.

Former spy and US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard will be released on Friday, after 30 years detention. Benjamin Netenyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, stated that his arrest had caused tensions between the close allies.

"The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard," Netanyahu said in a statement. "After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan has been reunited with his family.

Pollard, who was given a life sentence in 1987 for selling American intelligence secrets to Israel is supposed to remain in the US for five years as a part of his parole conditions.

Effie Lahav, head of the committee in Israel that lobbied for Pollard's release, said on Army Radio that "This is a dramatic moment ... This is a historic moment that brings to an end a tremendous effort that spanned many years.”

Pollard’s long-time supporter Rabbi Peseach Lerner of New York told a radio programme that Poland would have to obey his parole which will include a curfew and a mandatory wearable GPS monitoring device to locate him at all times.

"We're concerned that maybe they are trying to set him up so they can say he broke his parole and send him back," Lerner said.

"They're keeping the reins on him very tightly." he added.

Pollard’s long-time supporters did not want to comment on his release or his plans because they did not want to say anything that would incite him, as he was about to be freed.

"After all this time, we want him to get out without any difficulties of any comments in the press," said Kenneth Lasson, a law professor at the University of Baltimore.

His residential plans and employment has not been disclosed, nor information on the time of travel to New York.

"I've been working with Mr. Pollard for 20 years, and even I don't know where he is going or what he will be doing," said Farley Weiss, the president of the National Council of Young Israel.

The pro-government Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Thursday that Benjamin Netanyahu urged the US to accept Pollard to move to Israel.

Two New York Congressmen, Reps. Eliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler, wrote to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on behalf of Pollard and stated that he should be permitted to relinquish his American citizenship and migrate to Israel.

TRTWorld and agencies