The release of jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is now “out of the mix” as a measure to extend the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a senior U.S. official told The Washington Post.
In light of the current confusion surrounding the status of the Israeli-Palestinian talks, the U.S. reportedly toughened its stance on a possible Pollard deal.
The Palestinian Authority this week violated the terms of the negotiations by beginning the process of joining 15 international conventions, in response to Israel not proceeding with the fourth round of the release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners.
While President Barack Obama gave Secretary of State John Kerry the green light to float Pollard’s release as part of a larger deal to “give negotiations a genuine chance to succeed,” freeing Pollard would “antagonize the [U.S.] intelligence agencies,” said officials cited by The New York Times.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer said he believes that as of now, the talks are on the verge dying. “All of the indications are that this is moribund. We’re now into Plan B, which has two parts: the blame game, which is well underway, and a last-ditch effort by the United States not to have the collapse lead to violence,” Kurtzer said.