Source: Hope for Pollard freedom not lost

For first time, Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans all require agent's release for their own internal reasons, sources say.

Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - March 26, 2014

Sources involved in the efforts to bring about the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard cautioned against giving up hope Wednesday, despite discouraging statements by US State Department officials.

The sources noted that State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki merely said that "there are currently no plans to release Jonathan Pollard" and did not deny that a deal for Pollard could happen over the next few days.

"There hasn't been a credible denial because the current addendum is a calculated qualification," one of the sources said.

The sources said that in years of efforts to bring about Pollard's release there had never been a situation in which the Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans all required Pollard's release for their own internal reasons.

"Therefore it is reasonable to assume that there are still intense discussions and negotiations going on behind the scenes in which the Pollard issue remains front and center," the source said.

Deputy foreign minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) said he would support a which the US releases Pollard as a gesture to soften opposition to releasing Israeli Arabs in the Cabinet, although he does not have a vote. Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu), who voted against the past prisoner releases, said he would still vote against if Pollard was included

Two other ministers who intended to vote against the release of Israeli Arab prisoners would vote in favor if Pollard is included, a source close to the ministers revealed. Those two ministers would be enough to swing the vote and pass it.

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