Jonathan Pollard to be released November 20 following US ruling

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will be released from prison after serving 30 years of a life sentence on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced Tuesday.

The parole commission relayed the decision to Pollard’s lawyers, Elliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was also told and broke the news on Twitter.

The attorneys have been told that Pollard must remain in the US for five years under the parole ruling but that US president Barack Obama has the power to allow him to move to Israel sooner by commuting his sentence to time served.

The commission rejected a request for his parole last year. Ahead of the request, Pollard’s lawyers rented an apartment for Pollard in the New York area and obtained employment for him as an analyst at an investment firm.

Shaked expressed hope that Pollard would be allowed to board a plane to Israel as soon as possible. Her Bayit Yehudi colleague, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a former head of the Knesset’s Pollard caucus, welcomed the news with the shehianu prayer that one utters on a monumental occasion.

“After 30 years too many, I bless Jonathan and his family on his upcoming release,” Ariel said. “I am waiting with love for him to land here.”

While in prison, Pollard’s health has deteriorated, leading him to need surgery in March 2014 due to the malfunctioning of his kidneys, gall bladder, and intestines. He was most recently hospitalized last December after losing consciousness.

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