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The ambassador refused to comment on the growing pressure for the United States to release Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for passing U.S. military secrets to Israel nearly 30 years ago.

“He broke the law and was convicted,” Mr. Shapiro told leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“I understand that it bothers Israelis and Americans, and I do not want to talk about his release,” he said in remarks that made news on

Mr. Shapiro also told the visiting American Jews that President Obama will underscore the “strong and unbreakable bilateral relationship between the United States and Israel” during his upcoming visit to Israel, his first since taking office in 2009.

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