Israel welcomes upcoming release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in US prison

Israeli leaders are praising the upcoming release of Jonathan Pollard following a 30-year imprisonment in the U.S. on charges of spying for Israel. The case has been a source of tension between the allies

Israeli media said Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the U.S. allow Pollard to move immediately to Israel instead of completing five years' parole in America.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett told Army Radio that Pollard "did not do it for himself but for the people of Israel. And we are happy he will finally be released."

Pollard was a Navy intelligence analyst when he was arrested in 1985 for selling secrets to Israel. He pleaded guilty a year later to conspiracy to commit espionage and was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison.