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Israel minister: Pollard opposes release for talks

Apr. 1, 2014 - 07:27PM   |  
Jonathan Pollard
A May 15, 1998, file photo shows Jonathan Pollard speaking during an interview in a conference room at the Federal Correction Institution in Butner, N.C. (Karl DeBlaker / AP)
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JERUSALEM — A hard-line Israeli Cabinet minister says convicted spy Jonathan Pollard opposes being freed from a U.S. jail in exchange for Palestinians prisoners.

Uri Ariel says people close to Pollard have told him that he opposes such a “shameful deal.”

Ariel, from the hard-line Jewish Home party, spoke to Army Radio on Tuesday. He says he, too, is against the release of “murderers” for Pollard.

Talk of the possibility of Pollard’s early release has arisen as an incentive in the troubled Mideast peace negotiations. The idea is that if he is freed, Israel would make concessions and release more Palestinian prisoners.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he gave classified documents to Israeli handlers. He was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison.

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