MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US citizen and former Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard, who served 30 years in jail and five years on strict parole for spying for Israel, landed in the Ben Gurion airport on Wednesday and was welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Haaretz newspaper reported.
Pollard was freed after the US Parole Commission in November issued a certificate that terminated all his parole restrictions. The former spy, who arrived in Israel together with his wife, was handed an Israeli ID card from the prime minister.
“We are ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years. We thank the people of Israel and the Prime Minister of Israel for bringing us home. No one is more proud of this country or its leader than we are. We hope to become productive citizens as soon and as quickly as possible and get on with our lives here,” Pollard said, as quoted by Haaretz.
The couple will now quarantine for two weeks in their apartment in Jerusalem.
Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst, was arrested in 1985 and for handing over secret information to the government of Israel. The US Central Intelligence Agency has said that information received from Pollard help Israel in an operation against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunisia in 1985 that killed over 60 people.