Israeli army radio reported on Saturday that Israel could could ask the United States to free a former US Defense Department official, imprisoned in the States for spying for Israel, in return for freeing jailed Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouthi.

Pollard is an American Jew and a former analyst for the US navy, he is serving a life term sentence after delivering to Israel thousands of secrets documents on the US spying activities in the Arab world in the period between May 1984 and his arrested in November 1985.

Israel considers Barghouthi as the inspiration of the Al Aqsa Intifada, and sentenced him to five life terms for “murder of Israelis and supporting attacks against the Israeli military”.

The court ruled on June 6, 2005, that Barghouthi is responsible for attacks that led to the death of six Israelis.  

Meanwhile, Israeli officials did not rule out of confirm the report of the swap, one of the senior Israeli officials said that he had no knowledge of such a proposal and described it as “surprising”.

The military radio quoted a military official saying that the proposal “has chances of being accepted  given the growing anarchy within the Palestinian authority and the possibility that Barghouti would act as a counterweight to Hamas”.

The arrest of Pollard caused a diplomatic crisis between Israel and the United States. Before he was arrested, Pollard tried to seek refuge at the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Just before his arrest, Pollard had tried to seek refuge at the Israeli embassy in Washington, and his arrest caused a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Israel.