Report: US could free Israeli spy in deal to save peace talks

By REUTERS
March 31, 2014 21:10

As US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to get peace talks back on track, sources close to the negotiations say Pollard could become part of the deal.

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Jonathan Pollard red, white and blue

Jonathan Pollard red, white and blue. (photo credit: Courtesy)



JERUSALEM - An Israeli spy serving a life sentence in the United States and groups of Palestinian prisoners could be freed under an emerging deal to salvage Middle East peace talks, sources close to the negotiations said on Monday.



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The sources, who spoke as US Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders, said under the proposed arrangement that Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy analyst caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, could be released by mid-April.



In addition, Israel would go ahead with a promised release of a fourth group of Palestinians, among the 104 it pledged to free in a deal that led to the renewal of peace talks last July. Another group of jailed Palestinians would also go free - and the peace talks would be extended beyond an April 29 deadline, the sources said.

The White House said on Monday it had no new information to provide on the situation of Pollard.



"He is a person who is convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence, and I don't have any update on his situation," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked whether Pollard's release was something that could be offered as an incentive to Israel.


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