Imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was rushed to a hospital emergency
room near his Butner, North Carolina prison early Friday after suffering from
extreme pain, sources close to him told The Jerusalem Post.
said it was too soon to know his condition, but at least one source called it
Pollard, 57, was last hospitalized in August last
year for emergency kidney surgery.
His long list of ailments include:
Diabetes, nausea, dizziness, blackouts and ongoing issues with his gall bladder,
kidneys, sinuses, eyes and feet.
He also suffers from Meniere’s disease,
which causes him to lose consciousness and fall without warning.
source close to Pollard said his hospitalization was not connected to any of his
Pollard’s wife, Esther, said her husband is in very poor
health, and he has been hospitalized several times in recent
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger called upon Jews around the
world to pray during the Passover holiday for the health and freedom of Pollard,
whose Hebrew name is Yehonatan Ben-Malka.
On Thursday, freed soldier
Gilad Schalit and his family signed a petition calling on President Shimon Peres
to press for Pollard’s release.
“Due to the superior values the medal
represents, we feel we cannot reconcile you receiving it when the United States
is still holding Pollard in prison,” the petition states. “We ask you to take
advantage of your unprecedented diplomatic standing in order to work for
Jonathan’s immediate release before you are given the medal. Otherwise receiving
the medal would make a mockery of Israel.”
Peres has said he would do
whatever possible to secure Pollard’s release before he receives the
Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama. The petition has
now been signed by more than 35,000 people.
Obama has so far not
responded to calls by many top current and former Israeli and American officials
to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.