Israel defers cabinet queries about spy sentenced in U.S.

Special to the New York Times - March 9, 1987

JERUSALEM, March 8 The Israeli Cabinet today referred questions on the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy affair to the 10-member inner Cabinet, which is expected to convene Wednesday, a statement about the meeting of the full Cabinet said.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin apparently agreed on the move before this morning's weekly meeting of the full 22-member Cabinet, at which Ministers Ezer Weizman, Moshe Shahal and Amnon Rubinstein raised questions about the matter.

Mr. Shamir told a group of Jewish Americans visiting here today that the Pollard affair was over as far as Israel was concerned, and that an investigation was unnecessary because all of the details were known, the Israeli television reported tonight.

Israeli newspapers quoted Mr. Shamir as saying on Saturday that appeals for a judicial commission of inquiry now, more than a year after Mr. Pollard's arrest, were ''hysterical and unjustified.''

An American court sentenced Mr. Pollard last week to life imprisonment for giving Israel hundreds of secret American documents on Soviet and Arab military capabilities. His wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, was sentenced to five years for her role in the spy affair.

Israel has apologized for the espionage episode, calling it a ''rogue affair'' that took place without approval from senior officials or the political leadership. However, both Col. Aviem Sella, who has been indicted in the United States on charges of being one of Mr. Pollard's ''handlers,'' and Rafael Eitan, who controlled the intelligence unit that directed Mr. Pollard, have received promotions since the Pollard affair came to light.

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