The U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama rejected a request by Israeli President, Shimon Peres, for the release of Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, for humanitarian purposes.Peres sent a letter to Obama, Monday, asking him to grant Pollard a full pardon for humanitarian reasons, but Obama rejected the request.
A White House spokesperson stated that the position of the United States regarding the spy has not changed and will not change, affirming that Pollard will not be released, the Arabs48 news website reported.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the request was submitted by Peres as the health condition of Pollard has deteriorated, and he was hospitalized on the evening of the Jewish Pesach.
During a meeting with Pollard’s wife, Peres said that he is concerned about the deteriorating condition of Pollard, and promised her to act for her husband’s release.
Several Israeli officials, and pro-Israel lobbies, in addition to former and current Israeli officials, including Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have been trying to secure Pollard’s release.
On Tuesday January 4th, 2011, Netanyahu sent a letter to Obama asking him to release Pollard; the White House rejected the request.
On December, 11, 2011, Netanyahu stated that “Israel has the moral obligation to secure his release”, adding that “Pollard never spied on the United States”.
Jonathan Pollard, born to a Jewish family on August 7th, 1954 in Galveston, Texas, worked a civilian intelligence analyst, and was apprehended for spying for Israel, and received a life sentence in 1987.
He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, but despite granting him citizenship while he was in prison, Israel did not acknowledged buying classified information from Pollard.