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Netanyahu, Rivlin welcome end of Pollard’s parole, await his arrival in Israel

12 7 27

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday welcomed the termination of Jonathan Pollard’s parole and said he looks forward to welcoming the former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel.

“The prime minister was committed to his release for many years and worked tirelessly for his return,” read a statement from Netanyahu’s office, released nearly 24 hours after the Justice Department’s decision, which was handed down after the Sabbath began in Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin also said Israel was “waiting for him and his family at home” and wished him “a new life in health and peace.”

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“We felt his pain all these years and felt a responsibility and an obligation to bring about the release of Jonathan Pollard.”

Pollard, who served 30 years in prison for providing sensitive intelligence to Israel, made a public appeal to Netanyahu last year and asked him to intervene on his behalf to urge Trump to commute his parole, so he could care for his sick wife.

Netanyahu thanked Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer “who handled the contacts responsibly and sensitively with the American administration,” the statement added.

“The prime minister looks forward to Jonathan Pollard’s arrival in Israel soon and wishes to strengthen him and [his wife] Esther, along with all Israeli citizens,” it said.

The US Justice Department’s decision was announced via a statement from Pollard’s attorneys Jacques Semmelman and Eliot Lauer. Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard and his wife, Esther, enter federal court in New York on April 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

“Mr. Pollard........

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