JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly has asked U.S. President Donald Trump to allow convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel.
Netanyahu made the request after agreeing in May to provide economic goodwill gestures to the Palestinians, Israel’s Channel 2 first reported Tuesday.
The Israeli leader reportedly promised Trump that if Pollard were allowed to immigrate to Israel, he would continue to live under the restrictive parole conditions that a U.S. federal court imposed upon his release from prison after 30 years and upheld on appeal.
The Prime Minister’s Office told Channel 2 that Netanyahu raises the topic of Pollard’s immigration to Israel in every meeting with U.S. government officials.
The parole terms issued upon Pollard’s release from a federal prison in November 2015 after serving 30 years of a life sentence require him to stay in his New York home from 7 pm to 7 am; to submit any computer he uses for inspection, and to wear a GPS-monitoring device at all times. The device means that Pollard, who is Orthodox, is forced to violate Shabbat observance, his lawyer has said.
Pollard, 62, also must remain in the United States for five years, despite his desire to move to Israel.
Pollard’s attorney argued in May before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that the terms are overly severe because Pollard cannot remember the classified information he provided in 1984 and 1985 to Israeli officials and that he is not a flight risk, Reuters reported.
Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a civilian intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy.