Sources in Israel claim that the Jewish state intends to submit a request to the American government for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy who has been in prison in the US since 1986. The release would be in exchange for a three-month extension of the temporary moratorium on settlement construction across the occupied West Bank. It is believed that such a freeze would facilitate the continuation of direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Jonathan Pollard is serving a life term in an American jail after being convicted of espionage and spying for the Jewish state against Israel's closest ally.
Israel's Army Radio reported that someone close to Benjamin Netanyahu has asked a contact friendly with the Obama administration to make the proposal to test the reaction. It is not known whether the US has responded or not. Officially, Prime Minister Netanyahu's office denies making any such suggestion to the Americans. "The Prime Minister has not changed his position with regard to the ending of the temporary freeze and resuming settlement activity on the 26th of this month," said a spokesman.