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Israel promotes spy Pollard's recruiter to Brigadier General

Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, leaves a New York court house following his release from prison early on Friday after 30 years on November 20, 2015 in New York, New York [Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, leaves a New York court house following his release from prison early on Friday after 30 years on November 20, 2015 in New York, New York [Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz approved the promotion of Aviem Sella, who recruited American spy Jonathan Pollard 30 years ago, local media reported yesterday.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the former Israeli Air Force officer Sella was promoted to Brigadier General upon the recommendation of the chief of the Israeli Air Force and the approval of the Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

During his last days in office, former US President Donald Trump pardoned Sella, who is a former intelligence analyst in the American marines.

Sella sold American military secrets while he was working in the Pentagon in the 1980s, while the situation with Pollard resulted in high tension between the US and Israel.

Sella, 75, fled after Pollard was arrested in 1985. Sentenced in 1987 to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage, Pollard was freed on parole in 2015 and migrated to Israel when his parole period expired. He was welcomed on the tarmac by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, having reportedly flown to Israel in a private jet owned by Sheldon Adelson, a major Trump donor and leading Zionist who has since died.

READ: Ex-Israel spy storms Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

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