JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 1,000 people demonstrated in front of the president’s residence in Jerusalem calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard.
Tuesday night’s protest was held hours before President Obama was scheduled to land in Israel.
The protesters outside the home of Shimon Peres called for Obama to grant clemency to Pollard, who is in the 26th year of a life sentence for spying for Israel while working as a civilian U.S. Navy intelligence analyst.
Activities on behalf of Pollard have been stepped up in the run-up to Obama’s visit to Israel.
More than 202,000 people have signed a petition calling on Obama to free Pollard. The petition will be hand-delivered to Obama during his Israel visit.
The calls to release Pollard have intensified in the last year with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both U.S. political parties.