Israel Seeks Pollard's Release Again

March 9, 1998 - UPI

Israeli Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh says his government will seek new ways to free former Naval intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard, currently serving a life sentence in the United States for spying for Israel.

Pollard was arrested in Washington in 1985. He spent seven years in solitary confinement and is now in Butner, North Carolina. The United States has repeatedly rebuffed Israel's attempts to intercede on his behalf.

Naveh told Israel Radio today: "Jonathan Pollard has been in jail for more than 12 years. He is serving a longer sentence than any other person in the United States sentenced for similar offenses." He added: "We shall look ways to bring about his release. The fact he is in jail for so long requires an extra effort."

The previous Labor government accorded Pollard Israeli citizenship and two members of the current Likud government visited him in jail. Naveh expects to visit Pollard in a few weeks.

The issue arose after Israel secured the swift release of Mossad agents who tried to assassinate a Hamas leader in Amman, and sent its attorney general to negotiate the release of another agent held in Switzerland for a bugging attempt. Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein and Communications Minister Limor Livnat want to declare Pollard an Israeli agent, hoping it will give the government a firmer base from which to press for his release.