Israel lawmakers appeal to Obama for spy's release
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli MPs on Wednesday handed President Shimon Peres a petition urging the United States to release imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, after reports Washington spied on its own allies.
"Pollard has served 29 years in prison for the severe offences he committed," reads the petition, which was signed by 106 of 120 members of the Knesset and addressed to US President Barack Obama. "The conditions have ripened for his release."
The former US Navy analyst was arrested in 1985 for giving Israel thousands of secret documents about US espionage in the Arab world. He was sentenced to life in prison.
A spokesman for Ms Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party, one of the authors of the petition, told AFP the initiative was motivated by the recent revelations of US spying on Israeli leaders.