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Middle East

US intelligence analyst jailed for spying for Israel speaks out against release of Palestine prisoners


Jonathan Pollard, the former US naval intelligence analyst who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel, has penned a blistering attack on the Israeli government for releasing 26 Palestinian prisoners ahead of peace talks this week.

Mr Pollard’s first political statement since his incarceration appeared in an opinion article for The Jerusalem Post, and appeared to be a bid to reinforce calls by right-wing Israelis for his release. His supporters have argued that it was hypocritical for the US to pressure Israel to release Palestinians convicted of murder while refusing to free Mr Pollard, whom they see as having done nothing more than act to safeguard Israel’s security.

Mr Pollard, who was turned away by guards at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC when US authorities pursued him in 1985, wrote that Israel is “the only country in the world ever to voluntarily cooperate in the prosecution of its own intelligence agent.”

He stressed that the prisoner release carried out on Wednesday, after the Palestinian leadership demanded it as a precondition for resumed diplomacy, was an affront to victims of terrorism and their families.