Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard returned from a federal hospital back to his prison cell in Butner, North Carolina Sunday following 10 days of emergency treatment for a combination of severe ailments.
Pollard was brought to the hospital on the eve of the Passover holiday after he collapsed and required urgent medical care. He was able to make a two-minute phone call Sunday to update his wife, Esther, that he had returned to jail. Related:
Esther Pollard reported that he sounded weak and frail and that it seemed hard for him to speak. She told him that President Shimon Peres had made a personal, official, written appeal to US President Barack Obama for his release.
"I told Jonathan that President Peres had said 'this time we must not fail," she said.
Jonathan Pollard asked his wife to thank Peres and to urge him not to back down. She responded that she was convinced that "if President Peres will bring the full weight of his reputation to bear, he will not fail and your life will be spared."
When Jonathan Pollard asked whether President Obama had responded to Peres's appeal, she replied "not yet", and then the phone went dead, because the two minutes he had been granted had run out.
Esther Pollard expressed great concern about her husband's return to prison in his current condition.
"He has been returned to his unit in the prison where he is compelled to work no matter how weak or sick he may feel," she said. "He is not receiving much-needed follow-up medical care. It is only a matter of time until the next medical crisis occurs. I fear for his life if he remains in prison."