JERUSALEM – A person familiar with Mideast peace negotiations says the United States is talking with Israel about the possibility of releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard early. That would come in exchange for Israeli concessions that would allow faltering peace talks with the Palestinians to continue beyond an end-of-April deadline.
The person cautioned that such a step by the United States — which would be a dramatic turnaround from previous refusals — was far from a done deal and that discussions with Israel on the matter are ongoing. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations on the record.
In return, Israel would have to undertake significant concessions to the Palestinians.
U.S. defense and intelligence officials have consistently argued against releasing Pollard, who is serving a life sentence.