Pollard’s Operator: U.S. Promised to Free Spy After 10 Years

I agreed to supply incriminating details on Pollard because I knew the U.S. and Israel had a deal, says former minister Rafi Eitan.

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Imprisoned spy Jonathan Pollard's handler revealed on Monday that he agreed to supply the United States with information proving Pollard’s guilt, since he knew that the United States and Israel had an agreement to release Pollard from prison after he served a ten-year sentence.

Talking to Army Radio, Rafi Eitan, a former minister, emphasized that Pollard was serving more time than any other person who committed similar crimes and asked for Pollard’s forgiveness for the many years he spent in jail. Eitan said that today Israel has many options with regards to applying pressure on the United States to free his former asset.

Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat said that the Israeli government's agreement to any further release of terrorists or any future American request, should only be under the condition that Pollard be freed. “The U.S.’s conduct towards Pollard and Israel is wrong. The U.S. agreed that Pollard would be released as part of the [1998] Wye River Memorandum, but the Americans violated the agreement at the last minute," Livnat added.

On November 21, Pollard will begin his 29th year in prison. In recent months many senior officials expressed support for his release, including former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George P. Schultz, former CIA director James Woolsey, and other officials aware of all the yet-unpublished material relating to the affair.

Pollard is the only individual in American history that has served so many years in prison for spying on a friendly state. This past year his health has deteriorated and he was hospitalized five times. In some of these cases the doctors feared for his life.

Jonathan Pollard during an interview at the Federal Correction Institution in Butner, North Carolina, May 15, 1998.Credit: AP
Rafi Eitan. Credit: Nir Keidar

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