Netanyahu 'hopes to see Pollard in Israel soon'

Israeli officials welcome news of Pollard's terminated restrictions. Bennett: 'Waiting for you, Jonathan.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Protest calling on US to free Pollard (file)
Protest calling on US to free Pollard (file)
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday night welcomed the termination of restrictions on Jonathan Pollard. A statement by the Prime Minister's bureau said "the Prime Minister has been committed to his release for many years and worked tirelessly for his return.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the lifting of the restrictions on Jonathan Pollard. For many years the Prime Minister has been committed to, and consistently worked towards, securing Pollard’s release.

"The Prime Minister thanked Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer for responsibly and sensitively leading the contacts with the administration. The Prime Minister hopes to see Jonathan Pollard in Israel soon, and together with all Israelis, extends his best wishes to him and his wife Esther."

President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin said: “Over the years we have shared in Jonathan Pollard's pain, and felt a responsibility and commitment to bring about his release. Now we will be able to welcome him and his family home, with the blessing ‘Blessed are You, who releases prisoners’ after many difficult years of imprisonment and restrictions, to a new life of health and peace."

Attorneys for Jonathan Pollard said on Friday that the US Parole Commission has issued a certificate terminating parole and the restrictions that were imposed on him.

A such, Pollard “is free to travel anywhere, including Israel, for temporary or permanent residence, as he wishes,” said attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman.

Pollard expressed “appreciation and gratitude” to Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, for his help in bringing about the end to his parole.

Former Defense Minister and Yamina Party Chairman Naftali Bennett welcomed the removal of the restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, saying: "And the sons return to their borders. The State of Israel owes a deep debt to Jonathan Pollard who gave us over 30 years of his life, and we are waiting to welcome him and embrace him here, in the land of Israel which is his home, as soon as possible."

Bennett closed with: "Waiting for you, Jonathan."

Yamina Knesset Faction Chairwoman MK Ayelet Shaked said: "I was very excited to hear about the removal of the restrictions from Jonathan Pollard.

"In the 19th Knesset, I served as Chairwoman of the lobby for the return of Pollard and as Justice Minister, I continued my activities until his release and thereafter. I sincerely hope that in the near future he and Esther will establish their home in Israel."

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin this welcomed the removal of the restrictions on Jonathan Pollard which will allow him to come to Israel.

“Over the years we have shared in Jonathan Pollard's pain, and felt a responsibility and commitment to bring about his release. Now we will be able to welcome him and his family home, with the blessing ‘Blessed are You, who releases prisoners’ after many difficult years of imprisonment and restrictions, to a new life of health and peace,” he said.

Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon responded: "During the five years I served as Israel's Ambassador to the UN, I glimpsed Jonathan Pollard and his wife from a distance several times as they lived near the Israeli mission to the UN.

"Each time I saw them walking down Second Avenue I very much wanted to greet and hug Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther. Until yesterday this was not possible. As part of Jonathan's conditions of release, he was forbidden to approach any Israeli delegation or to be in contact with any Israeli diplomat. Yesterday, after too many years, the restrictions were lifted.

"Jonathan and Esther Pollard, millions of Israelis are waiting for you in the Land of Israel. This time you will receive a warm hug from us all."

Defense Minister, Benny Gantz wrote: "The lifting of Jonathan Pollard's parole restrictions is welcome news for all of us and offers important closure to the State of Israel. Jonathan, after all these years, I am so glad that you'll be joining us here, and hope to meet you and Esther, in good health, soon."



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