Economy Minister Naftali Bennett expressed skepticism Wednesday of a report that the United States has offered to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard's in order to prolong Israeli-Palestinian peace talks past their initial April deadline.

The Bayit Yehudi leader told Army Radio that he had not received confirmation from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concerning an earlier report by the radio station that Pollard's release would be part of a deal that would also see Israel free 14 Arab-Israelis in a fourth release of Palestinian prisoners.

"It's not certain to happen, and in any case, we need to stop begging [Abbas] to agree to conduct negotiations with us," Bennett said.

"I'm very skeptical. I haven't see the United States reach its hand into its pocket on the Pollard issue and I haven't heard [about this] from the prime minister. I don't assume that it will really happen," he told the radio station.


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