Women fighters willing to die for Gaza (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Roni Sofer Published: 01.04.11, 19:17)
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Prime minister addresses Knesset plenum, reads out letter sent to US
President Obama asking him to pardon spy. White Houses says will
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to US President
Barack Obama on Tuesday asking him to pardon spy Jonathan Pollard.
The White House issued a statement in response saying it will review
The prime minister addressed the Knesset plenum Tuesday in a debate
titled "The failure of the Netanyahu administration in the political,
financial and social realms." A total of 40 Knesset members signed an
appeal to hold the debate forcing Netanyahu to attend.
In his speech, Netanyahu detailed the efforts that have been made
along the years to free Pollard. He noted that he received a letter
from Pollard two weeks ago pleading him to publicly approach the US
president and ask for his release.
"After 25 years that Jonathan has spent in jail and after 15 years of
failed efforts to release him I have decided to grant this request
and I do this openly, here, from the Knesset podium in a step that
represents and unites all the people of Israel."
Netanyahu read the letter he sent to Obama in which he noted that
despite the fact that Israel had not directed any intelligence
efforts against the US, it was wrong in doing what it did and had
acted in an unacceptable manner. The letter further noted that both
Pollard and Israel´s governments have regretted these acts and that
Israel continues to pledge never to repeat such acts in the future.
The Knesset debate is being held in the backdrop of calls from Labor
MKs to withdraw from the coalition should no progress be achieved in
the peace talks with the Palestinians.
Recently, Netanyahu has been urged to personally appraoch Obama and
ask for Pollard´s release.
Two weeks ago the Prime Minister´s Office announced that Netanyahu
has decided to comply with these requests. "The decision was made
after a series of talks Netanyahu has held in recent months with
senior officials in the US administration," a statement on behalf of
the PM´s Office noted. Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
(Copyright 2011 © Yedioth Internet 01/04/11)
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