Pollard taken out of jail for 'very urgent' surgery

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 2, 2011 18:30

MK Uri Ariel says deteriorating health "emphasizes the terrible humanitarian crime" of keeping Israeli agent locked up.

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Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311 (R). (photo credit: Courtesy of Justice for Jonathan Pollard)

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard temporarily left his Butner, North Carolina prison Tuesday morning to undergo a “very urgent” surgical procedure.

The operation is intended to correct a myriad of problems he is suffering from, particularly with his kidneys, gall bladder and high blood pressure.

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Sources close to Pollard said he has been suffering from pain for quite some time and that his health had been deteriorating.

Pollard’s wife Esther, who accompanied Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, on a visit to her husband last week, remained in North Carolina to assist her husband ahead of the surgery.

At press time, she had not been given details about the surgery because of prison rules intended for security reasons, and to prevent the presence of reporters at the hospital.

Pollard’s wife said she was very worried – especially because the last time her husband was hospitalized a doctor told her that if his treatment had been delayed much longer, it would have been too late.

“He has received 26 years of inadequate medical care, improper diet and too much stress,” she said. “If he were home now, he wouldn’t be in the life and death situation he’s in now.”

She called upon the public to pray for her husband, whose Hebrew name is Yehonatan ben Malka. Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger joined her request to the public Tuesday night.

Daniel Clinton contributed to this report.


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