Beirut: A former US Navy analyst who spent 30 years in prison for passing secret military intelligence to Israel arrived there yesterday to a hero’s welcome from Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s prime minister.

Jonathan Pollard, one of the most prolific spies in US history, was greeted by Netanyahu holding Israeli ID cards for him and his wife after they were released from parole travel restrictions by the Trump administration.

Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther sit inside a private plane provided by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, on route to land in Ben Gurion International airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.

Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther sit inside a private plane provided by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, on route to land in Ben Gurion International airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.Credit:AP

“You’re home,” the prime minister said, after reciting a Hebrew blessing of thanks. Pollard, 66, touched down on a private plane owned by the American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire supporter of both Netanyahu and Donald Trump, the US president. The lifting of parole restrictions was seen as the latest in a string of diplomatic gifts from the departing Trump administration.

In the Eighties, as a US Navy analyst, Pollard sold classified documents to the Israelis in exchange for thousands of dollars per month.



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