Tags: israel settlements spy

Israel Floats Settlements-For-Spy Deal

Tuesday, 21 September 2010 07:20 AM

JERUSALEM — Israeli officials have tried to float a trade-off in which they would extend the temporary moratorium on settlement construction in exchange for the release by the United States of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel and is serving a life term in an American jail, according to The New York Times.

The idea would be that the exchange might help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to sell an extension of the partial settlement freeze on the West Bank to his rightist ministers, Israel's Army Radio said. The moratorium is due to expire on Sunday, and Palestinian leaders have threatened to halt the fledgling American-sponsored peace talks with the Israelis if construction resumes.

The radio cited an unnamed diplomatic official as saying that the proposal had been raised in the Israeli prime minister’s office “as one of many ideas.” It said a private individual had been asked to try to gauge the potential of such an initiative “discreetly and informally” with American officials.

“The Israelis have mentioned it in recent days,” said a senior American official. “This is an important issue for israeli governments going back more than a decade. It surfaces from time to time and has again.”

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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israel settlements spy
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 07:20 AM
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