An Israeli official has told reporters that the United States will release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on November 20th.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked confirmed the spy’s release on Twitter.
The likelihood of the release of Pollard was exposed Friday by the Wall Street Journal but the comment from Shaked is the first official confirmation of Pollard’s release. The Journal said the release of Pollard is an attempt to appease Israel over the Iran nuclear deal. The Obama administration denied the Journal’s claims.
“The Department of Justice has always and continues to maintain that Jonathan Pollard should serve his full sentence for the serious crimes he committed, which in this case is a 30-year sentence as mandated by statute,” said Department of Justice spokesman Marc Raimondi.
Pollard was arrested in 1985, convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his actions. He is the only American to be sentenced to life in prison for passing secrets to an American ally.
Supporters of Pollard had called for his release for years, saying the information provided to Israel caused no damage to the U.S. and was information that Israel could already access; he also is suffering from health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.