Palestinian and Israeli Arab officials said Monday that they would not oppose a possible U.S.-brokered deal in which Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard be released as an incentive for the Israeli cabinet to approve the release of 14 Israeli Arabs convicted of terrorist crimes.
The Palestinians have threatened to walk out on the peace talks if the prisoners are not released. There is currently said to be no majority in the Israeli cabinet to release them, but if Pollard were included that could change.
Kadoura Fares, who directs the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, said “I never opposed Pollard’s release,” he said. “We think it could be something good that could contribute to progress between the two sides.”
An Israeli minister who has voiced strong opposition to releasing the prisoners said Monday that if Pollard were included, he would have to reconsider his position.
“The Americans are very generous with our prisoners, not theirs,” he said. “I don’t see America making such a deal, but I might be surprised. You never know.”