PM confirms:
'We are looking into possibility of freeing Jonathan Pollard'

Netanyahu tells reporters in Britain he has asked US to allow Jonathan Pollard to move to Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acknowledged during a briefing to reporters in Britain that "the possibility of bringing Jonathan Pollard back to Israel is under consideration."

US officials have claimed that Netanyahu had asked close associates of US President Donald Trump to remove some of the parole restrictions imposed on Pollard since his release from prison in 2015 and allow him to move to Israel.

According to the reports, the US would consider allowing Pollard to move to Israel if it believes that the move would facilitate efforts to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“It’s a complex legal problem. We have been working on it since his release,” Netanyahu said.

Pollard was convicted for spying for Israel in 1987 and given a life sentence. He was granted parole after serving 30 years in prison in 2015 during which he was not allowed to attend his father's funeral. Once on parole, he was placed under restrictive conditions, including a curfew from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM. He is forced to wear an electronic monitoring device. Any computer he uses is monitored. The restrictions have prevented Pollard from finding employment, and even from attending Shabbat services at a synagogue on Friday nights.

Pollard was also not allowed to leave the country under the parole restrictions.

Pollard's sentence and parole conditions have been criticized as vindictive and completely out of proportion for the crime committed and the length of the sentence served in prison. No other US citizen has ever received a life sentence for spying for an ally.

Should Netanyahu's request for Pollard to be allowed to move to Israel be granted, he would still be required to wear an electronic monitoring device and be subject to several other parole restrictions.

Successive Israeli governments have called for Pollard's release. However, no American Administration has considered the case.