U.S.-Israeli edginess; a resignation eases but doesn't end strains over the Pollard spy episode

David K. Shipler - New York Times - March 31, 1987

WASHINGTON, March 30 - Strains in the Israeli-American relationship appear to have been eased, but not eliminated, by the announcement Sunday that the Israeli Air Force colonel accused of recruiting an American naval intelligence analyst as a spy was resigning as commander of a major Israeli air base.

The boycott of the air base by American military and civilian officials, ordered by the Reagan Administration after the colonel was placed in command, has been ended, a State Department spokesman said today. Another official added that the resignation ''does go some way'' toward removing a source of friction between the two Governments.

Nevertheless, Administration officials stressed the need for improved Israeli cooperation in the American investigation into the case. Concerns reportedly exist in the Justice Department that Israel may have been using other Americans besides the naval analyst, Jonathan Jay Pollard, who was sentenced March 4 to life in prison. The Israeli colonel, Aviem Sella, was indicted on charges of espionage by a Federal grand jury, but is not expected to return to the United States. Moving to Revoke Immunity

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