Report: Prime Minister to Demand Pollard's Release
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will officially demand the release of Jonathan Pollard from the US, Channel 2 reported Monday.
The unconfirmed report claims that Netanyahu will reportedly ask for Pollard's release in one of two frameworks: either for another exchange of more Arab terrorist prisoners, or as part of agreeing to the interim deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The agreement would follow the US's guidelines set for Israel and the PA for a peace agreement, the full outline of which is due to be presented in January 2014.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister joined in the criticism from Israeli and American politicians, experts, and public figures of revelations that the US and Britain had been spying on Israel. Netanyahu, like several others, called for Pollard's release in light of those revelations.
"We do not need a special occasion to discuss the release of Jonathan Pollard," Netanyahu stated. "We are constantly working on the matter, including with President [Barack] Obama. We are hoping that circumstances will emerge soon that will allow for Jonathan's release."
The New York Times reported Friday that in monitoring more than 1,000 targets in upwards of 60 countries between 2008 to 2011, US and British intelligence agencies tapped the communications of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, among other foreign leaders, according to secret documents revealed by intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Several MKs called the announcement "hypocritical." Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz called the reports "unacceptable"; Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz noted that "Pollard was arrested for a lot less."
Pollard has been subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, after being held in the US for more than 28 years on spying allegations.