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Tuesday 28 July 2015

US to Free Israel Spy Jonathan Pollard.

An American jailed for 30 years for spying for Israel is to be freed in November after the US granted his parole, according to his
Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst, was jailed for life in 1987 after being found guilty of passing documents to Israel.
US Secretary of State John Kerry denied the move was a bid to appease Israel amid tensions over Iran's nuclear deal.
The case has been a source of friction between the US and Israel for decades.
Rumours of his release have been circulating for several days, with some analysts suggesting it was tied to the nuclear agreement with Iran. 

But officials said he had always been eligible for parole after 30 years and his lawyers said the parole board made their decision "independently of any other US government agency".
"The decision is not connected to recent developments in the Middle East," his lawyers said in a statement.
"I haven't even had a conversation about it," Mr Kerry told reporters as he left a House of Representatives committee hearing on the Iranian nuclear deal. 

Pollard, 60, began work as a civilian analyst in US navy intelligence near Washington DC in 1979 and began offering classified materials shortly afterwards.
Navy officials and the FBI interviewed him in 1985 after he was found to have removed classified documents from his office.
Under the threat of an espionage prosecution, he and his wife, Anne, sought asylum at the Israeli embassy but were turned away. They were arrested soon after by the FBI.
Israel initially denied he was their spy but they made him a citizen in 1996 and two years later they admitted he was their agent.

Bargaining chip

Pollard has always maintained that he gave Israel classified documents because the US was not passing important information to its ally.
His supporters say he was unfairly punished and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously urged the US to release him.
The US used Pollard's release as an incentive during Israel-Palestinian talks last year but the peace effort collapsed he remained in prison. 

Pollard, who has suffered with health issues in recent years, divorced and remarried while held at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.
His lawyers said he was "looking forward to being reunited with his beloved wife Esther" when he is released on 21 November.
They said he will be required to remain in the US for five years under the terms of the parole. 
Source: BBC

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