Pollard's wife: His condition has worsened since Wye

November 4, 1998 - Liat Collins - The Jerusalem Post

Esther Pollard, wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, said yesterday his conditions in a US prison had worsened following the Wye agreement.

She was talking at a meeting of the Lobby for Jonathan Pollard in the Knesset.

Lobby head Ophir Pines (Labor) said it was the first meeting at which no government representative had attended. He also accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of showing lack of humanity by not meeting with Esther Pollard.

Pollard said her husband's situation had worsened, and a smear campaign was launched against him after the Israeli delegation left the US.

When asked to specify about her husband's conditions in prison, she said she did not want to elaborate because it could put him in danger.

She said the Palestinians had used the issue of Pollard's release at the negotiations to force Israel to yield on the demand that the head of the Palestinian Police in Gaza, Razi Jabali, be handed over to Israel as a wanted terrorist.

She said the fact that Pollard was not ultimately released means Israel should put the agreement on hold.

MK Gideon Ezra (Likud) called on Esther Pollard not to attack the prime minister and government in order not to harm the common goal of gaining Jonathan's release.

MK Marina Solodkin (Yisrael Ba'aliya) said her impression from Yisrael Ba'aliya leader and Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky, who was at the talks in the US, is that "good news concerning Pollard" would be received within a month.

Pines said he and Ezra would try to put pressure on Netanyahu to make him meet with Esther Pollard and afterwards with the lobby.

He will also send a letter to US President Bill Clinton explaining the broad support in the Knesset and country for Pollard's release.

Pines also said that at next week's Knesset discussion on the Wye agreement, the lobby would ask Speaker Dan Tichon's help in introducing an announcement that the Knesset is very disappointed by the delay in Pollard's release.