|Israeli army radio suggests freedom for spy Jonathan Pollard
Washington has offered to free jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard (Pictured) as part of an arrangement that would secure an extension of the deadlocked peace talks, army radio said today.
Citing Israeli officials, the army radio said the offer was made as part of a deal which would ensure Israel releases a fourth group of veteran Palestinian prisoners, scheduled for March 29.
Israel has cast doubt on the planned releases, citing Palestinian intransigence in the peace talks, due to end on April 29.
Pollard, a former US Navy analyst, was arrested in 1985 for giving Israel thousands of secret documents about US espionage in the Arab world.
He was jailed for life, and Washington has rejected repeated Israeli efforts to secure his release. He won Israeli citizenship in 1995.
There was no comment from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not comment directly on the report but said there were “no plans'' to release Pollard at this stage.
“Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States, a very serious crime, was sentenced to life in prison, and is serving his sentence,'' she said in a statement.
“There are currently no plans to release Jonathan Pollard.''--AFP