PM calls Pollard imprisonment a tragedy in Youtube clip

In clip uploaded by PMO, Netanyahu expresses hope Obama will release Israeli agent on a humanitarian basis.

June 22, 2011 22:03
1 minute read.
Netanyahu answers viewers' questions on Youtube.

netanyahu on youtube_311. (photo credit: Screenshot)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed hope that US president Barack Obama would release Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard in a video clip uploaded to YouTube by the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday.

In the clip, Netanyahu called Pollard's continued imprisonment a tragedy and said he still hoped Obama would release him on a humanitarian basis.

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The clip was uploaded following a decision by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressing dismay and regret that Pollard was not allowed to attend the funeral of his father Morris in Indiana on Monday.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who represents the government in the Knesset, told MKs on Tuesday that after consulting with the Prime Minister's Office he did not know why Pollard was not permitted to attend the funeral.

The heads of all the Zionist factions in the Knesset wrote Pollard a condolence letter on Wednesday in which the MKs apologized for not succeeding in bringing about his release for the funeral. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin is working on organizing a visit to Pollard by a delegation of MKs.

National Union faction chairman MK Uri Ariel, who heads the Knesset lobby for Pollard's freedom, wrote Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday, urging him to instruct ambassador to the US Michael Oren to pay a condolence visit to Pollard in prison.

In related news, Netanyahu also spoke on Youtube about captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, saying that meeting Hamas’ demands for the release of Schalit would endanger Israelis.

Netanyahu told a viewer, "We are dealing with a cruel enemy that has held Gilad for five years and even now has not allowed even the Red Cross to visit him.

“They are demanding terms that would endanger hundreds of Israelis. I want to return Gilad, I am ready to through various means but I also have to worry about your security and that of your children and the citizens of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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