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April 1, 2014 10:16 am

Settler Leader: Kerry’s Talk of Pollard Release is Manipulative, Shameful

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Demonstrators hold signs of Jonathan Pollard as they attend a protest calling for his release outside the house of President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, where Peres met with U.S. congressmen, on August 17, 2011. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Dani Dayan, Chief Foreign Envoy of the Yesha Council, representing the Jews of Judea and Samaria, on Tuesday said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s use of Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip to extend peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was “manipulative” and “shameful.”

“The amount of time John Kerry has invested in attempting to secure the release of convicted terrorists and his manipulative use of Jonathan Pollard
are shameful,” Dayan said in a statement.

“What is the purpose of resuscitating this redundant process that has failed to achieve even a vague framework agreement in nine months?” he asked.”It is about time we put an end to this never ending farce that stems from the Palestinians ever-growing demands and intransigence.”

“Once again, the Palestinian leadership has no intent of making peace and merely wants to gain public support by securing the release of murderers,” Dayan said.

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Israel balked at releasing a fourth tranche of the 104 prisoners it agreed to free at the start of the peace talks on the grounds that the PA were no longer faithfully pursuing the talks, allowing the deadline for their release to pass.

On Tuesday, Kerry made a last-minute trip to visit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where local media speculated that a deal including Pollard’s release was being finalized. Some reports suggested that the deal had already been struck, and Pollard could be released by Passover, next week.

According to Israel Army radio, sources close to Pollard relayed the message that the prisoner also thought his use as a bargaining chip to extend the talks was not right. Pollard was arrested in 1985 for passing secrets to Israel, and was sentenced to life in prison.

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