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AFP
November 22, 2020

US allows convicted spy Pollard to move to Israel

World

AFP
November 22, 2020

WASHINGTON: An American jailed in 1985 for spying for Israel was released from strict parole conditions on Friday, allowing his move to Israel, the US Justice Department said.

Jonathan Pollard served 30 years for giving away classified US documents and had been confined by parole terms to the United States since his release in 2015, despite Israeli pressure to allow him to leave.

"After a review of Mr. Pollard’s case, the US Parole Commission has found that there is no evidence to conclude that he is likely to violate the law," the Justice Department said.

Pollard, 66, was a US Navy intelligence analyst in the mid-1980s when he made contact with an Israeli colonel in New York and began sending US secrets to Israel in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars.

Pollard, who is Jewish, passed thousands of crucial US documents to Israel, straining relations between the two close allies.

Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Tunis headquarters that killed around 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents declassified in 2012.

He was arrested in 1985 and was sentenced to life in prison two years later, despite pleading guilty in a deal his attorneys expected would result in a more lenient sentence.

After his release in 2015, he was kept in the United States by parole rules and not allowed to travel to Israel where his wife, whom he married after he was jailed, lived.

He remained subject to a curfew, had to wear a wrist monitor, and was prohibited from working for any company that lacked US government monitoring software on its computer systems. In addition he was restricted from traveling abroad. The restrictions, his lawyers said, had been "insurmountable impediments on Mr. Pollard’s ability to earn a living."