JERUSALEM (JTA) — Family members of terror victims killed by Palestinian prisoners released in connection with the current Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations called on President Obama to free Jonathan Pollard.
The letter, signed by 22 terror victim relatives, was delivered Sunday to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to be passed on to the U.S. president, according to the Times of Israel. The letter was circulated by the Almagor Terror Victims Association.
“Mr. President, with a broken heart we are turning to you and asking you — please release Pollard, in the name of justice, compassion and humanity,” read the letter, which detailed their pain and suffering, and their failed attempt to prevent the release of the prisoners over the last eight months.
“Sadly, we did not succeed in our struggle. Close to 80 cold-blooded murderers were freed in the last three releases, and were received with massive celebrations by Abu Mazen while being portrayed as heroes,” read the letter.
Israel released the 80 Palestinian prisoners over the last eight months as part of an agreement made last August to jump-start the peace process. Some 28 other prisoners were set to go free at the end of last month, but Israel postponed their release pending progress in the peace process, or an agreement by the Palestinians to extend the time of the negotiations, which currently are scheduled to end on April 29.
In an effort to convince Israel to release the latest batch of prisoners, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered to release Pollard, the convicted American spy for Israel, currently in his 29th year of a life sentence in a U.S. prison. Many U.S. intelligence officials object to freeing Pollard.
“If all the requests and considerations weren’t enough, please do this as a gesture to the families who lost those most dear to them, who were forced to see the murderers of their precious ones freed, so that the end of the Pollard tragedy will offer them at least a tiny sliver of consolation,” said the letter.