Israeli lawmakers push petition to free Pollard

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Associated Press

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 1 at 8:04 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A huge majority of Israeli lawmakers has signed a petition calling for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard imprisoned in the United States.

The petition, signed by 106 out of Israel's 120 lawmakers, was handed over to Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday.

Peres says it was "both a right and a duty" to bring the bipartisan request by the Israeli lawmakers to President Barack Obama's attention.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he gave thousands of classified documents to his Israeli handlers. Pollard was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison two years later.

Israeli governments have repeatedly called for his release. The calls have increased following revelations that the National Security Agency spied on Israel.

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