Hebrew press: US to free Pollard in return for Israel's release of Barghouthi

palestine-info.co.uk - December 3, 2005

Jerusalem - Rumors on a possible American deal stipulating the release of the jailed Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi in return for setting free the American Jew Jonathan Pollard, who was accused and convicted with espionage for Israel, has been unmasked by the Hebrew Ha'aretz newspaper.

The paper affirmed that there were persisting rumors on possible American initiative to secure Barghouthi's release in exchange for Pollard's freedom, and will justify such a step by portraying it as an American answer to a PA request to boost its position in the Palestinian arena so as to derail the sweeping popularity of its main rival, Hamas.

The paper opined that Barghouthi, in the event of his release, would reciprocate the favor and block Hamas' growing popularity especially prior to the upcoming legislative elections next January.

The paper noted that a lot of work must be done by Fatah Movement, which controls the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), in order to curb the snow-balling Hamas popularity before the said elections.

Several requests were previously made by the successive Israeli governments to secure Pollard's freedom, but all the requests were turned down by the successive US administrations.

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