Obama mulls release of spy for Israel

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The White House said Tuesday that President Obama hasn’t made up his mind whether to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to the Israelis as part of negotiations to keep alive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“The Israelis have frequently raised Jonathan Pollard in our discussions,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “The president has not decided to release Jonathan Pollard.”

Pollard, a former U.S. intelligence agent who was convicted of spying for Israel, could be released before the Jewish holiday of Passover, an Israeli official involved in the talks told CNN. Passover begins on April 14.

Mr. Carney said of Pollard, “He’s a person who was convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence.”

News of Pollard’s possible release came as Secretary of State John F. Kerry traveled to Israel on Monday to try to mediate a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over the release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel has long sought Pollard’s release from prison in the U.S.

Pollard is up for parole consideration in 2015. He was convicted of providing Israel with thousands of classified documents, including intelligence on the Soviet military, while working as an intelligence analyst for the Navy in the 1980s.

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