Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Netanyahu: I will push Obama to release Pollard

    Jonathan Pollard
    Jonathan Pollard

    Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will push President Barack Obama for the release of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

    The Israeli prime minister said in a statement that he would press for the release of Jonathan Pollard "in a formal and public manner".

    However White House officials dismissed the possibility of letting the former Navy intelligence analyst out of prison early.

    President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said: "I am not aware that that's something that the president is looking at doing.”

    Mr Pollard was charged with giving military secrets to Israel and given a life sentence, despite claiming that he spied because the US was withholding information crucial for Israel’s security.

    The 56-year-old is not due to be released from the North Carolina prison he is serving in for another five years, but his continued imprisonment is a key cause for Israel’s right-wing and for Mr Netanyahu.

    Mr Netanyahu granted Mr Pollard Israeli citizenship in 1995 when he was first prime minister. He said he had raised the issue with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on several occasions.

    Speaking on Israeli radio, he said: "I worked very hard in my first term as prime minister to get Jonathan out.
    "I intend to succeed in my second term. I think we can do it."

    In September there was speculation in the Israeli media that Mr Netanyahu’s office had discussed with American negotiators the possibility of Israel making concessions, including on settlement building, in return for Mr Pollard’s release.

UK News

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges

Daniel Sugarman

Friday, November 3, 2017

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges
Israel

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’

Anshel Pfeffer

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’
Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
UK News

‘Balfour Declaration puts Britain on the right side of history’

Rosa Doherty

Friday, November 3, 2017

‘Balfour Declaration puts Britain on the right side of history’
Israel

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

Shabbat shop ban demand

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shabbat shop ban demand
Israel

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...

Orlando Radice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...
Comment

Fidel Castro's paradoxical relationship with Is...

Colin Shindler

Fidel Castro's paradoxical relationship with Is...