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JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States is talking with Israel about the possibility of releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard early from his life sentence as an incentive in the troubled Mideast peace negotiations, a person familiar with the situation said Monday. Such an extraordinary step would show the urgency of U.S. efforts to keep negotiations alive.
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JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States is talking with Israel about the possibility of releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from prison early, a person familiar with Mideast peace negotiations said Monday. That would come in exchange for Israeli concessions that would allow faltering peace talks with the Palestinians to continue beyond an end-of-April deadline.
Proposal reportedly includes release of 420 additional prisoners chosen by Israel, and partial settlement freeze that doesn’t include East Jerusalem, existing tenders.
The White House said on Monday it had no new information to provide on the situation of Jonathan Pollard after sources close to negotiations aimed at salvaging Middle East peace talks said the convicted Israel spy and groups of Palestinian prisoners could be released in a deal under consideration. “He is a person who is convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence, and I don’t have any update on his situation,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked whether Pollard’s release was something that could be offered as an incentive to Israel. The sources, who spoke as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the region, said under the proposed arrangement that Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, could be released by mid-April.