In an 11th-hour bid to save the peace process, Washington may offer Jonathan Pollard’s release in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
After a week of disappointing meetings with Israeli and Arab leaders coupled with escalating violence, America seems to be getting nervous.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Committee held a special meeting to call for an Israeli withdrawal of all territories in Judea and Shomron. He called for millions of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders. When pressed for a reason why he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas retorted:
“The Palestinians recognized the State of Israel in previous accords.”
Israel, meanwhile, may not release the final group of prisoners set for next week. Jerusalem is reportedly concerned that once the prisoners are set free, Abbas will return to the UN to make unilateral moves.
Abbas stated that “Israel can show it is serious by releasing the prisoners as it promised. If they are not released, this is a violation of the agreement and allows us to act however we see fit.”
More rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the start of 2014 than in all of the previous year. Last Friday it was revealed that the IDF uncovered a Hamas tunnel originating in the Gaza Strip that extends 500 feet into Israel. On Sunday, the IDF entered Jenin to arrest three wanted terrorists, who emerged from their homes with rifles and fired at the soldiers. The terrorists were all killed in a shootout with the Israeli forces.
“These things are our guiding light,” stated Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu. Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri called on the Palestinian Authority to cease negotiations with Israel immediately.
US Hints at Pollard Release
Washington has hinted that it may offer Pollard’s release in exchange for the freedom of Palestinian terrorists due to be let out of prison next week. One of them is the son of a convicted Hamas leader; he had been given to nine life sentences for his involvement in the Jerusalem Sabarro pizzeria bombing that killed 15 in 2001.
Pollard was arrested by FBI agents in 1985 for passing classified security-related information from America to Israel. He is now in his 29th year of incarceration.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, among others, has noted, that Pollard’s sentence well surpassed those of other convicted American spies. In a recent interview on Israel’s Channel 10, he suggested that “antisemitism is at work here.”
Author: David Fink, Contributor, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 23, 2014