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Israeli spy narrates arrest conditions in US

March 23, 2021 at 4:41 pm

Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel on 20 November 2015 [Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, recently released from US incarceration over espionage for Israel, narrated for the first time his arrest conditions in the US.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom scheduled to be published on Friday, Pollard said the US “stabbed Israel in the back” as it withheld intelligence information from it.

On the night of his arrest, Pollard was meant to let an Israeli intelligence officer, Aviem Sella, who was in contact with him leave the US before being arrested as he did not have diplomatic immunity.

Pollard said he used code words with his then-wife Anne after being arrested to let her leave the US telling her in a phone call from his arrest to “water the cactus”.In the interview, Pollard blamed the Israeli intelligence, especially intelligence officer Rafi Eitan, for his capture as they never trained him and there was no escape plan.

Pollard also revealed that the security guard of the Israeli Embassy in the US asked him to leave the embassy while 20 FBI officers were waiting to arrest him outside. “Sorry you have to leave,” the guard told Pollard.

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Pollard, however, did not express regret for what he did as he said Israel was facing serious threats, adding: “I know I crossed a line, but I had no choice.”Pollard was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in 1987 after being found guilty of selling military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon in the 1980s as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US navy.

In 2015, he was freed but put under house arrest and was not allowed to leave his home in New York.

According to the US regulations, the restrictions shall be removed after five years which ended in November.

US presidents have previously refused repeated requests by Israel to release Pollard, but former President Donald Trump released him and allowed him to leave the US.