Pollard made a public appeal to Netanyahu in 2019 and asked him to intervene on his behalf and call on President Donald Trump to change his parole so he can take care of his sick wife. The US Justice Department has just lifted all restrictions on the ex-spy’s parole.
As we read in the statement by Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister stresses that he himself “has been involved in releasing Pollard for many years and has worked tirelessly to bring him back” to the country.
In turn, President Reuwen Riwlin declared that Israel “waits for Pollard and his family at home” and wishes him “a new life in health and peace”. “Over the years we have felt his pain and felt the responsibility and duty to get Jonathan Pollard released,” the statement said.
In November 2015, Pollard was released from Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina, where he served his sentence, and moved to New York City. The conditions of his parole included being in designated areas of the city, wearing an electronic ankle bracelet at all times, a curfew, and constant surveillance of his computers. He was also not allowed to speak to journalists.
In 1984, Pollard and his then-fiancée Anne Henderson volunteered to spy for Israel while the man worked as an intelligence analyst at the US Navy’s counter-terrorism center. Pollard was run for over a year by a secret unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense and systematically provided classified documents on a number of topics related to the development of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria, satellite photos from Tunisia (used by Israel during the bombing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization headquarters there in 1985. , where about 60 people died), information about the armies of Arab countries and much more.
In 1985, when they both realized they had been exposed, they fled to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, but were ordered to leave. The couple were then detained by the FBI.
Pollard collaborated with FBI investigators and pleaded guilty to espionage charges in order to provide national defense information to a foreign government. In 1987, he was sentenced without trial to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Anne Henderson Pollard was sentenced to five years for complicity.
For the first 11 years in prison, Israel did not admit that Pollard was formally acting as a spy. He was granted Israeli citizenship only in November 1995. Successive Israeli governments have tried several times to ask the US administration for pardon.