Photo: AP
Jonathan Pollard
Photo: AP

Spy Pollard said to be hospitalized after losing consciousness

Month after having parole rejected, Jonathan Pollard taken to hospital; condition unknown; rightist: 'Israel should pray for his wellbeing, US should end cruel abuse and let him go free.'

Esther Pollard was informed Friday that her husband, convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was removed from his jail cell and taken to the hospital after he lost consciousness.



Efi Lahav, who heads the campaign to free Pollard, told Ynet that he spoke with Esther recently and that they both hope Jonathan's situation does not deteriorate, though they don't know what condition he is in.


JonathanPollard (Photo: AP) (Photo: Associated Press)
JonathanPollard (Photo: AP)


Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy when he gave Israel thousands of classified documents, the extent of which has never been fully revealed. Pollard, now 60, was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. Several Israeli requests to have him released have been rejected. He will be eligible for parole next year.


It remains one of the most embarrassing and damaging episodes in Israel-American relations and many details of the case remain a mystery nearly 30 years later.


Just last month Pollard filed a parole request, only to have it rejected by US officials, who said his release does not befit the severity of his crime.


Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party and Housing Minister Uri Ariel urged all Israelis to pray for the speedy recovery of Pollard Friday.


"I ask the public to pray for the wellbeing of Jonathan our brother," he said, urging the US "to end its cruel abuse of Jonathan and release him effective immediately as many US officials have recommended. My God protect him."


In an interview with Channel 2 TV's investigative program "Uvda," former Mossad agent Rafi Eitan – who was Pollard's handler - gave a rare glimpse into the events leading up to his arrest.


Eitan said that once Pollard began to raise suspicions, he gave him the signal for a prearranged escape plan that would get him safely out of the United States.


Instead, Pollard waited three days before arriving unannounced at the Israeli embassy, asking for asylum.


"I got the call that he is waiting at the entrance of the embassy ... and I immediately said 'throw him out.' I don't regret it," he said. "The minute the man decided to come to the embassy .... he decided for himself that he is going to prison."


Eitan argued that giving Pollard refuge in the face of US law enforcement would have created an even greater crisis between the United States and Israel.


Eitan took the heat for the fiasco, saying he acted on his own and resigned as head of an Israeli intelligence agency known as the Scientific Relations Office - which was later disbanded entirely.


In the interview, Eitan hinted that despite denials, Israel's political leadership was fully aware of his actions and that he himself suggested that he "be sacrificed."


"I said I will take all the responsibility on me," he said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.05.14, 14:42
 new comment
This will delete your current comment