Photo Credit: Screen capture of State Dept.spokeswoman at briefing
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The White House has denied an Israeli radio report broadcast Wednesday saying the U.S. proposed swapping convicted Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard for 26 Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners to keep the Israel-PA talks alive.

Pollard is entering his 29th year in a U.S. prison, held on a single charge of passing classified information to a friendly ally (Israel) after his arrest in 1985. The crime normally carries a maximum jail term of two to four years.

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Israel was set to release the 26 PA terrorists this week in a final tranche of four groups to complete an agreement made as a “good will gesture” on condition the PA would participate in “serious” talks. Since July 2013, 78 PA terrorists have been freed. A number of roadblocks at entrances to Arab cities and towns along major arteries in Judea and Samaria, where terrorists are known to take refuge, have also been opened and new roads paved with funding and assistance from the U.S. government.

But there has no been significant participation in negotiations by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas since November 2013, according to Jerusalem officials. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has notified the U.S. that many senior ministers in his coalition government are opposed to releasing the final group of terrorists, not having seen any real progress in the talks and no movement in any of the PA’s positions.

“There are no plans to release Jonathan Pollard at the moment,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced at a briefing. “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States – a very serious crime. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his sentence,” she said. The spokesperson sidestepped the issue of whether or not a deal offering a prisoner swap had been offered.

The PA leader announced at an Arab League summit yesterday that he intends to move ahead with unilateral attempts to gain membership for the PA as an independent sovereign nation in international organizations, ignoring his own commitment. Both Abbas and the Arab League are insisting on preconditions by Israel to continue “negotiations” that require the Jewish State to pull back to the 1949 Armistice Line, withdrawing from all “occupied territories” won in 1967. They also demand Israel accept the “right of return” by Arab refugees who fled Israel in 1948 and 1967 and their millions of descendants, and refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

16 COMMENTS

  1. How long does Pollard have to stay in the max security lock up? I know he passed secret info. to Israel, our ONLY ally in the Middle East and he deserved jail time for what he did.But it’s not like he gave it to Russia or China and nobody was harmed by it.There are vicious killers,rapists and drug dealers that serve a fraction of the time that Pollard has.He should have been given a jail sentence and years ago exiled to Israel.The fact that he is Jewish-could that have lengthened his time in the slammer? You decide.

  2. Trade Obama and Kerry for Pollard, in “Mutual Swaps.” They are the REAL CONVICTS. They need to be in a 10′ by 8′ Cell, for lying to Congress and the World. Start with the Obama’s Fake and Forged Birth Certificate, and work up from there. Unfortunately, it seems Bibi panders to their whims and Blackmail. I sincerely hope not.

  3. The illegal Islamist in the White House would never give up a Jew for any reason, he is a SOB as he don't know who daddy is and was born in Kenya and needs to be on a raft back to his place of birth and not a world leader, is the clown of the world and needs to get his Islamist head out of where the sun don't shine.

  4. One wonders why the palestinians waged a war against Israel in the first place as they lost and now want the territories back, which they would not have lost if they had not waged war against Israel. sort of like having your cake and eating it too.

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