WASHINGTON (JTA) — The family of Jonathan Pollard said he was not well enough to receive visitors and canceled a meeting with Israeli Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon.
Kahlon’s arrival Monday was announced by the Israeli Embassy in Washington, which said he was on a work visit until Friday and would meet with "counterparts." Pollard’s family announced the cancellation of the visit later in the day, according to Israeli media.
"Jonathan had hoped until the last minute that he would have the strength for the visit," his wife, Esther, said in a statement. "He really wanted to pass on a personal message through Kahlon to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ask him to act as quickly as possible for his release."
Kahlon spokesman Nadav Sheinberg would not comment to JTA on Kahlon’s plans, saying they were still under wraps.
Kahlon had said he was coming to the United States to meet with Pollard, who was sentenced to life in 1987 for spying for Israel. He is serving his sentence in the federal prison in Butner, N.C.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year formally requested clemency for Pollard from President Obama.