U.S. President Barack Obama has refused another Israeli request for the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. During talks that preceded the announcement of the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Netanyahu asked for Pollard’s release and was rebuffed by the Americans.
As part of the restart of peace talks, Israel is set to free 85 Palestinian terrorists imprisoned since before the Oslo Accords in 1993.
The U.S. wasn’t convinced by the argument that Pollard's release would ease the Israeli public's reaction to the release of Palestinian prisoners.
“Unfortunately, it seems that the Americans are determined to release Pollard only through the normal procedures in their prison system there,” an Israeli diplomatic official said.
Pollard, 58, was arrested by U.S. authorities in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison for spying for Israel. He will be eligible for parole in November 2015.
The Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard said on Monday that “dozens of top-level American officials have been calling for the immediate release of Pollard, due to the American and basic human values of justice and mercy. … He should be released immediately and without connection to any other issue.”