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November 22, 2020 10:41 am

Netanyahu Welcomes Lifting of Restrictions on Jonathan Pollard

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Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, US, May 17, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night welcomed the news that Jonathan Pollard, a former US intelligence analyst who served three decades in prison for espionage on behalf of Israel, was no longer restricted by his parole, enabling him to immigrate to the Jewish state.

“For many years, [Netanyahu] has been committed to, and consistently worked towards, securing Pollard’s release,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Netanyahu thanked outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer for “responsibly and sensitively leading the contacts” with the administration in Washington, according to the statement.

Netanyahu “hopes to see Jonathan Pollard in Israel soon, and together with all Israelis, extends his best wishes to him and his wife, Esther.”

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Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, announced on Friday that the US Parole Commission had declined to renew their client’s parole conditions and issued a certificate terminating his parole.

These conditions, which were placed on Pollard since his release from prison in 2015, included remaining in New York City for at least five years, having his computer use monitored by the US government and wearing a wrist monitor.

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