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Israel spy Jonathan Pollard receives welcome from Netanyahu hero: ‘you are home’

The jet that delivered the Pollards belonged to a casino owned by Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who is a longtime benefactor of Mr. Netanyahu, Israeli media reported. News of Mr Pollard’s arrival was canceled by editor-in-chief of Israel Hayom, a free daily that Mr Adelson has long funded to provide Mr Netanyahu with continued political support. Mr Adelson, one of the richest men in the world and a key supporter of President Trump, had long pushed for Mr Pollard’s release.

Mr. Pollard’s lawyer based in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, told Israel Hayom that there had been “a great effort to prevent the plan from arriving by American media and not to announce anything before they land.”

The Free Pollard campaign committee said in a statement that the Pollards had been moved to a temporary location for a period of quarantine, as required by Israeli coronavirus regulations, and the date of their arrival had been kept secret. “For safety reasons”. He added that the date was also chosen to allow Esther Pollard’s medical treatment to continue smoothly.

The United States Parole Board, the arm of the Department of Justice that oversees the releases of federal prisoners, decided in November not to extend the travel restrictions it placed on Mr. Pollard when he was released from federal prison five years ago.

Mr Pollard has long said he would move to Israel if he allows it.

Credit…Israel Hayom / Associated Press

After his arrest in 1985, Pollard pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors who agreed to seek a one-year sentence. But the judge, based on a once-classified damage assessment prepared by Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, sentenced him to life in prison. Mr Pollard eventually served three decades behind bars, the longest time in prison for an American who illegally donated equipment to an allied government.

In October 1987, the CIA, with the cooperation of Mr. Pollard, began work on a damage assessment. Although a redacted version of the document has been made public, much of it remains confidential. The report found that while the Israelis did not ask for information about US military plans or some of the more sensitive matters, the “amount” of disclosures posed a risk to intelligence sources and collection methods. “The Pollard operation has few parallels among known US espionage cases,” the CIA report says.

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