While her former husband, spy Jonathan Pollard,
has been jailed for nearly 25 years, Ann Pollard's medical and financial state has steadily deteriorated. Along with her elderly father, she lived in a crammed one bedroom apartment in New York.
On Monday, Pollard was flown to Israel
by the initiative of the government, in hopes she will rehabilitate in the Jewish state.
Pollard was arrested in 1986 along with her then husband, and was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory to espionage. After being released, Pollard moved to Israel, but eventually returned to the United States.
Last August, Ann contacted the Israeli consulate in New York and told them about her dire medical and financial state but disappeared shortly after.
Israeli officials claimed they were unable to contact her through the phone number she gave them.
Earlier this month, Ann called again and said she was deteriorating. Consulate representatives came to her apartment and found her in a crammed space with her father, after days of not eating, and in poor health.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed
to bring her and her father to Israel, and Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser has been coordinating her arrival together with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and
The Prime Minister's Office said it was examining ways to enable Ann and her father to be properly absorbed in Israel. Upon arrival, Pollard and her father were accommodated in a hotel in central Israel, and are expected to stay there until a permanent arrangement is found.
Commenting on the affair, Netanyahu said: "We have a moral and humanitarian obligation to Ann Pollard, who paid a heavy personal price of five years in prison."
"I am planning to strike roots in Israel all over again. I never stopped feeling as though this is my home. I am returning home now," Pollard said excitedly shortly after landing.
Despite being exhausted, Pollard said she couldn't sleep a wink all through the flight in anticipation for her arrival.
"I've waited for this moment for many years, and for different reasons it was delayed," she added.
Israel House Coordinator and Absorption Ministry representative in New York Sharon Hadad was put in charge of handling Pollard's travel arrangements, and making sure Ann and her father receive all the privileges of returning citizens.
Hadad said that prior to the flight the ministry made arrangements to put Pollard and her father in a hotel.
"I wouldn't define her as poor," added Hadad. "She told me that she wanted to make aliyah for a long time.
"I escorted her to the plane, and she eagerly looked forward for the plane to land in Israel. The Ministry of Immigration Absorption will embrace her and help with anything necessary so that she is absorbed properly," she said.