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U.S. Demands Israel Dismiss Eitan As Basis for Disposing of Pollard Case

August 28, 1987
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The U.S. has again demanded of Israel that Rafael Eitan, who was head of the Scientific Liaison Bureau which was dismantled in the wake of the Jonathan Pollard spy affair, be dismissed from his current position as Board chairman of Israel Chemicals as a precondition for any final disposition of the Pollard case, Maariv reported Thursday.

The paper quoted authoritative sources in Jerusalem who are handling this as saying that Israel rejects the U.S. demand. They add that all the contacts are on a semi-official basis, so that theoretically it could even be maintained that no such demand was ever made.

Formally, the contacts are continuing between Israeli lawyers and U.S. prosecution officials regarding the latter’s request to lift the immunity of Eitan, Irit Erb and Yosef Yagur. They received immunity when they testified before U.S. committees investigating the Pollard case. But the American officials now say the three did not tell the whole truth.

Regarding the demand for Eitan’s dismissal, Maariv said there are officials in Jerusalem who would consider this, but only if the U.S. promised that this would spell the end of the Pollard affair. However, the U.S. is continuing to insist that Israel give it the names of other Americans who helped it in the same way Pollard did. Washington does not believe Israel’s claims that no such persons exist.

According to reports reaching the Israeli team handling the matter, the Americans believe that even without Jerusalem’s help they will be able to expose additional “Pollards.”

Maariv said that the subject is getting top-level treatment in Jerusalem, with ongoing matters being handled by a team consisting of Brig. Gen. Azriel Nevo, the Prime Minister’s military secretary; Hanan Baron, former Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Ministry; and former Ambassador to the U.S. Meir Rosenne.

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