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World

Convicted U.S spy greeted by Netanyahu as he arrives in Israel

  • On Wednesday, Jonathan Pollard, an American jailed in the United States since 1985 on charges of spying for Israel, landed in Israel where he was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Israel's raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's Tunis headquarters in October 1985, that killed around 60 people, was planned through information from Pollard.
Updated 30 Dec 2020

On Wednesday, Jonathan Pollard, an American jailed in the United States since 1985 on charges of spying for Israel, landed in Israel where he was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Pollard (aged 66) served three decades in prison for giving away classified U.S documents, having been confined by parole terms since 2015; despite Israeli pressure to allow him to leave.

Pollard served as a U.S Navy Intelligence analyst in the mid-1980's, when he made contact with an Israeli colonel in New York and began sending classified documents to Israel, in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in payment; straining the relations between the two allies.

Israel's raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's Tunis headquarters in October 1985, that killed around 60 people, was planned through information from Pollard - according to CIA documents declassified in 2012.

After his release in 2015, Pollard was kept detained under U.S parole rules and was not permitted to travel to Israel; an this recent change in policy was seen as a parting gift from the Trump Administration.

Pollard said he and his wife Esther were "ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years, and we thank the people and the prime minister of Israel for bringing us home".

The U.S intelligence community was reportedly deeply opposed to an adjustment to his sentence.

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